Family, friends say final goodbye to McCain
ANNAPOLIS, Maryland (AP):
Senator John McCain's final journey ended on a grassy hill at the US Naval Academy within view of the Severn River and earshot of midshipmen, present and future, and alongside a lifelong friend.
A horse-drawn caisson carrying the senator's casket led a procession of mourners from the academy's chapel to its cemetery Sunday following a private service. The senator's widow, Cindy, and his children, were among those who walked behind the caisson. Joining them were family and friends as well as members of McCain's Class of 1958 and military leaders.
The US Navy band played marches along the way and several hundred Naval Academy midshipmen lined the path. A flyover of military aircraft in 'missing man' formation honoured the Navy pilot who was shot down over Vietnam and held more than five years as a prisoner of war.
After the American flag was removed from the casket, a grieving Cindy McCain pressed her cheek to its surface and McCain sons Jimmy and Jack shared a hug. Defence Secretary Jim Mattis presented flags to Cindy McCain and Roberta McCain, the senator's 106-year-old mother.
The burial was private as per the wishes of McCain, the Arizona Republican and 2008 presidential nominee who died August 25 from brain cancer at age 81.
Those offering tributes or readings during the funeral service included Senator Lindsey Graham, R-SC; McCain sons Jack and Douglas; retired General David Petraeus, former CIA director; and Mark Salter, McCain's long-time co-author.
Petraeus said McCain was a man of "great courage, unshakable determination, and unwavering devotion to our country and those who defend it," according to remarks released by the family.