In the absence of president donald trump, high-ranking political and social figures in washington said farewell to the late u.S. Senator john mccain.
At the funeral service at the national cathedral, former presidents barack obama and george W. Bush on saturday the internationally respected politician. "He made us better presidents, just like he made the senate better, just like he made this country better," obama said.
Mccain had died of a brain tumor a week ago in arizona at age 81. The republican was trump’s fiercest intraparty opponent.
Obama’s running mate bush said of mccain: "he was honorable, always acknowledging that his adversaries were still patriots and human beings." Bush added: "in the face of the ruling, mccain insisted: we are better than the. America is better than this."Mccain "despised abuse of power".
US president donald trump did not attend the memorial service, instead visiting his golf club in the neighboring state of virginia. The ceremony was for invited guests only. According to media reports, mccain had not wanted trump to attend his funeral.
Mccain’s daughter meghan mccain said during her moving speech in reference to trump’s campaign slogan "make america great again": "john mccain’s america doesn’t need to be made great again, because america has always been great." Meghan mccain at the same time criticized the "cheap rhetoric of men who could never come close to the sacrifices he so willingly gave". Her father was a prisoner of war in north vietnam for more than five years.
Mccain had lost the 2008 presidential election as the republican nominee to democrat obama. In 2000, he lost to bush in the primary for the republican presidential nomination.
Obama said mccain understood "that some principles go beyond politics, that some values go beyond parties. That’s why he defended a free and independent press as vital to good debate." This can be taken as a side swipe at trump, who repeatedly denigrates a large section of the u.S. Media and insinuates that they deliberately report untruthfully. Obama went on to say that mccain knew that democracy does not work when you bend the truth for reasons of political expediency.
Trump’s name was not mentioned once during the two-and-a-half-hour funeral service. Several prominent representatives of the weiben house were among the guests at the cathedral on saturday, but not among the eulogists. According to media reports, mccain had wished trump not to attend his funeral.
After mccain’s death last saturday, trump had only acknowledged the senator and war veteran’s service following massive public pressure. At a memorial service at the U.S. Capitol on friday, vice president mike pence paid tribute to the deceased.
Saturday’s service was attended by more than 3,000 people, including many high-ranking political and social figures. Germany was represented by bundestag president wolfgang schauble at the request of chancellor angela merkel.
On sunday, mccain is to be buried with military honors on the grounds of the naval academy in annapolis in the u.S. State of maryland. Mccain died last saturday at his ranch in arizona from the effects of a brain tumor.
Mccain’s body was first honored in his home state of arizona after his death last saturday week. On friday, his body was laid out in the capitol in washington – an honor that has only been bestowed on 30 americans before him in this form so far.
Before the service, the motorcade carrying the senator’s body stopped at the memorial for the fallen of the vietnam war. Mccain was a U.S. Navy pilot who was captured in vietnam and tortured by the vietcong.