Biden said McCain “could not stand the abuse of power wherever he saw it, in whatever form, in whatever country.”
Dabbing his eyes at times, Biden also referred to his own son’s death from cancer, saying of the disease, “It’s brutal, it’s relentless, it’s unforgiving.” And he spoke directly to McCain’s widow, Cindy McCain, in the front row: “You were his ballast.”
At the end of the nearly 90-minute ceremony, McCain’s casket was wheeled out of the church to “My Way,” in tribute to a politician known for following his own path based on his personal principles.
McCain clashed openly with Trump, who mocked McCain for getting captured during the Vietnam War. Two White House officials said McCain’s family had asked that Trump not attend the funeral services.
The Phoenix memorial was laced with humor and featured a racially and ethnically diverse roster of speakers and other participants.
Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, who is black, talked about his unlikely connection with McCain, a big fan of the state’s sports teams.
“While from very different worlds, we developed a meaningful friendship,” said Fitzgerald, adding that McCain didn’t judge others on their skin color, gender or bank account but on their character.