Vice President Mike Pence spoke of McCain's honor and service. "The president asked me to be here on behalf of a grateful nation to pay a debt of honor and respect to a man who served our country throughout his life, in uniform and in public office", said Pence. Bernie Sanders said: "We welcome the Vice President to our state and hope he enjoys his stay". McCain had told friends earlier this year that he didn't want Trump at his funeral ceremonies, and the president was not scheduled to attend any of the Washington-area services.
Pence says the Arizona Republican later became "one of the most unwavering advocates" of the American military ever to serve in Congress.
"John McCain served his country and John McCain served his country honorably".
Air Force Two landed at the Burlington International Airport Friday afternoon, hours after the vice president and his wife Karen honored the late Sen.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan also put wreaths around McCain's casket representing the House and Senate. "And we gather here remembering a man who knew how he wanted to be remembered".
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Moments before the ceremony began, rain poured down as USA service members escorted McCain's flag-draped casket up the Capitol steps, as senators and members of Congress - in addition to McCain's widow, Cindy, his children, and his 106-year-old mother Roberta - awaited his arrival.
Several members of President Donald Trump's administration attended the ceremony, including Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Chief of Staff John Kelly and national security adviser John Bolton.
He spoke of the time he traveled with McCain to Iraq to visit U.S. troops, when, after an 18-hour day, he found himself "literally falling asleep in the middle of a dinner with Iraqi officials".
McCain criticized Trump's policies and politics, cautioning Americans against turning toward "half-baked, spurious nationalism".
McCain died Saturday after being diagnosed previous year with an aggressive form of brain cancer. Pence concluded, "May God bless the memory of John McCain".