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Washington honors McCain at funeral

Washington honors McCain at funeral
© Getty Images

Former presidents, vice presidents, and officials from the current and former administrations gathered on Saturday at the funeral for the late Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainOn The Money: GOP digs in on defending Trump tax cuts | Democrats bullish on raising minimum wage | Financial sector braces for Biden's consumer bureau pick No. 2 Senate Democrat says minimum wage can be increased with simple majority vote State-level Republicans wracked by division after Trump's loss MORE (R-Ariz.).

Former Presidents Obama, Clinton and George W. Bush were in attendance at the Washington National Cathedral, along with Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaAmanda Gorman captures national interest after inauguration performance A Day in Photos: The Biden Inauguration Scorned and mistreated, Melania Trump deserved much better from the media MORE, Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonHouse Democrat touts resolution to expel Marjorie Taylor Greene from Congress Hillary Clinton says Greene should 'be on a watch list,' not in Congress DOJ: Social media influencer charged with interference in 2016 election MORE and Laura Bush, as well as former Vice Presidents Joe BidenJoe BidenHouse Democrat touts resolution to expel Marjorie Taylor Greene from Congress Science denialism in the new administration Jill Biden to offer input on helping reunite separated immigrant families: report MORE, Dick Cheney and Al GoreAlbert (Al) Arnold GoreExclusive 'Lucky' excerpt: Vow of Black woman on Supreme Court was Biden turning point Paris Agreement: Biden's chance to restore international standing Al Gore: 'If I were still in the Senate, I would vote to convict' Trump MORE.

George W. Bush in his eulogy said of McCain that “in one epic life was written the courage and greatness of our country” and noted “presidents were not spared” McCain's commitment to honesty.

Obama said McCain “liked being unpredictable, even a little contrarian" and called on Americans to be "bigger" than the "bombast," "phony controversies" and "manufactured outrage" of politics.

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Bipartisan lawmakers and foreign leaders were also in attendance at the event, which precedes McCain’s burial Sunday at his alma mater, the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md.

Additional speakers included McCain's daughter Meghan McCain, who contrasted her father's "American greatness" with "cheap rhetoric"; former senator and close McCain friend Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), who offered humorous anecdotes and a defense of McCain's vote against the GOP's health-care reform bill last summer; and former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who called McCain a "gift of destiny."

Prior to the funeral, McCain's wife, Cindy McCain, laid a wreath on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial not far away in Washington, D.C. McCain served in the Vietnam War as a Navy pilot. In 1967, he was shot down, captured and held hostage for more than five years.

McCain died of brain cancer on Aug. 25 at age 81.

— Updated 12:11 p.m.