Washington D.C. is a place that is full of divisions based on political ideology. Coalitions are created and fade in a matter of days or even hours. During Senator John McCain’s funeral ceremony today, however, the city put aside their differences to talk about a man who stood by his ideals, but also was willing to work with others for the betterment of Americans and people who were oppressed around the world.
More 2,000 prominent business, media, military, and political figures gathered at the Washington National Cathedral for McCain’s memorial ceremony. Saturday’s service was a chance for politicians and citizens to celebrate and honor this man and his contributions. Former U.S. presidents and vice presidents also came to honor the service of Senator McCain.
Obama and Bush delivered eulogies
Two former presidents, Barack Obama and George W. Bush, spoke at the ceremony to acknowledge McCain’s example of service and his impact on politics.
“We come to celebrate an extraordinary man, a warrior, a statesman, a patriot, who embodied so much that is best in America,” said Obama. “So much of our politics our public life, our public discourse can seem small, and mean, and petty, trafficking in bombast and insult and phony controversies and manufactured outrage. It’s a politics that pretends to be brave and tough but in fact is born of fear. John called on use to be bigger than that. He called on us to be better than that.”
McCain stood firm on Russia and Iran
Other speakers noted his fierce defense of what he knew to be right. He supported a hardline against Iran and Russia on a variety of issues. At the same time, he was also willing to reach across the aisle, as noted by the way that even those he disagreed with him still spoke highly of him.
Family and friends recalled his life and commitment to public service, as well as how he relished a good fight but was willing to work with others to create real change.
“My father had every reason to think the world was an awful place…my father had every reason to think the world was worth leaving,” said Meghan McCain in her eulogy. “He did not think those things…He was a great fire who burned bright. In the past few days, my family and I have heard from so many of those Americans who stood in the warmth and light of his fire.”