Washington honors McCain at funeral

Washington honors McCain at funeral
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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 McCainEleventh Democratic presidential debate to be held in Phoenix Moderate Democrats now in a race against the clock Biden on Graham's push for investigation: 'I don't know what happened' to him 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 ObamaThe Hill's Campaign Report: New challenges for 2020 Dems in Nevada, South Carolina Obamas share messages wishing each other happy Valentine's Day California elementary school to be named after Michelle Obama MORE, Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonOmar endorses progressive Georgia Democrat running for House seat Bernie Sanders's Super Tuesday problem Democrats worried about Trump's growing strength MORE and Laura Bush, as well as former Vice Presidents Joe BidenJoe BidenBloomberg campaign: Primary is two-way race with Sanders HuffPost reporter: Sanders could win plurality of delegates but lose nomination Meghan McCain to Joy Behar: 'You guys have done a piss-poor job of convincing me that I should vote for a Democrat' MORE, Dick Cheney and Al GoreAlbert (Al) Arnold GoreClarence Thomas breaks his silence in theaters nationwide New Hampshire only exacerbates Democratic Party agita What Trump got right 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.