In this image provided by the U.S. Navy, Navy Body Bearers walk with the casket of Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., followed by family members including Cindy McCain, to place it onto a horse-drawn caisson after his funeral service at the United States Naval Academy Chapel, Sunday, Sept. 2, 2018, in Annapolis, Md. McCain was buried in the cemetery at the Naval Academy. (Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Nathan Burke/U.S. Navy via AP)

McCain buried at Naval Academy alongside a longtime friend

The burial was private as per the wishes of McCain, the Arizona Republican and 2008 presidential nominee died Aug. 25 from brain cancer at age 81.

Sen. John McCain’s final journey ended Sunday on a grassy hill at the U.S. 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 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, military leaders and academy midshipmen.

About 4 p.m. a flyover of military aircraft 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.

The burial was private as per the wishes of McCain, the Arizona Republican and 2008 presidential nominee died Aug. 25 from brain cancer at age 81. Vehicles that had carried mourners began leaving the area between 4:30 and 5 p.m.

One scheduled speaker at the service, Sen. Lindsey Graham, said before the service that he would tell the audience that “nobody loved a soldier more than John McCain, that I bear witness to his commitment to have their back, travel where they go, never let them be forgotten.” Also expected to pay tribute were David Petraeus, a retired general and former CIA director, and McCain’s son Jack.

As the hearse carrying McCain passed through a gate and into the academy, there was loud applause from the several hundred people lining the street outside on the hot and muggy summer day. Many held their hands over their hearts and waved American flags. Some shouted, “God bless you.”

People in the crowd held signs that read “Senator John McCain Thanks For Serving! Godspeed” and “Rest In Peace Maverick.”

For his final resting place, McCain picked the historic site overlooking the Severn River, not Arlington National Cemetery, where his father and grandfather, both admirals, were buried.

Related: Canadian officials attend John McCain’s funeral in Washington

Related: John McCain, U.S. war hero and presidential candidate, dies at 81

Years ago Chuck Larson, an admiral himself and an ally throughout McCain’s life, reserved four plots at the cemetery — two for McCain and himself, and two for their wives, now widows. Larson died in 2014, and McCain wrote in a recent memoir that he wanted to be buried next to his friend, “near where it began.”

Among the pallbearers on a list provided by McCain’s office were Frank Gamboa, his academy roommate; Defence Secretary Jim Mattis; and two men who were POWs with McCain in Vietnam, John Fer and Everett Alvarez Jr.

Tributes to McCain began Wednesday in Arizona and continued for the remainder of the week. On Saturday, speeches by his daughter Meghan and two former presidents — Republican George W. Bush and Democrat Barack Obama — remembered McCain as a patriot who could bridge painful rivalries. While their remarks made clear their admiration for him, they also represented a repudiation of President Donald Trump’s brand of tough-talking, divisive politics. Trump and McCain were at odds during the 2016 campaign and for much of Trump’s presidency.

“There’s a lesson to be learned this week about John McCain,” said Graham, R-S.C.

“No. 1, Americans appreciate military service. … If you work hard and do your homework and know what you’re talking about, people will listen to you. That if you pick big causes bigger than yourself, you’ll be remembered,” he told “Fox News Sunday.”

“He tried to drain the swamp before it was cool, that you can fight hard and still be respected. If you forgive, people appreciate it, and if you admit to mistakes, you look good as a stronger man. That’s the formula, John McCain. This was a civics lesson for anybody who wanted to listen. Why do we remember this man? Because of the way he conducted his public life.”

Susan Walsh, The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Central Okanagan school trustees ponder future of Rutland Middle School

Planning and facilities committee to weigh in on frustrating lack of progress

Your guide to winter light ups around the Okanagan

From Vernon to Summerland, with a stop in Kelowna, we’ve found some activities for you to enjoy

Kelowna RCMP look for suspects of Rutland break-in

Police are looking for two suspects after man was found with blood on his hands and face

Work on revamp Rutland Transit Exchange in Kelowna now complete

The transit exchange and extension of Shepherd Road will open Saturday says city hall

Movie-making in Kelowna

Film crews will be shooting scenes around the city for a new movie until early December

Feds give formal notice for law to end Canada Post strike

Trudeau government ready to legislate employees back to work after five weeks of rotating strikes

Getzlaf lifts Ducks to 4-3 win over skidding Canucks

Vancouver now winless since Nov. 8

Pressure builds for B.C. to recognize physicians assistants

“We can make a difference and I think we’re being overlooked.”

Senators urge Trump to expedite congressional vote on USMCA

The 12 Republican senators are warning of the dangers of getting the trade pact approved in 2019

Okanagan College professors introduce e-textbooks to ease student costs

Okanagan College ranks sixth in the province for open textbook adoption.

Bill just one tool to deter foreign interference in Canadian elections: Gould

Bill C-76 is just one means to deter outside interference in Canadian elections

Investigation into B.C. legislature officers began in January

RCMP brought in months after former prison administrator started

Legal challenge filed over high-stakes competition to design $60B warships

The federal government had originally said it wanted a “mature design” for its new warship fleet, which was widely interpreted as meaning a vessel that has already been built and used by another navy.

‘There has to be accountability’: victims of sterilization demand action

Morningstar Mercredi says she woke up from a surgery at 14 and immediately broke down when she discovered the baby she once felt inside of her was gone.

Most Read