Arizona Senator John McCain’s funeral arrangements have been announced following his death on Saturday, August 25. After losing his yearlong battle with brain cancer at age 81, he will lie in state in both the Arizona Capitol and the U.S. Capitol Rotunda on Wednesday—his birthday—and Friday, respectively, before he is laid to rest at a private service at the Naval Academy in Annapolis on Sunday, September 2.
While the outpouring of support and love for the late U.S. Senator and Vietnam War hero continue to flow on social media, here’s what you should know about his upcoming funeral.
Services will also be held in Arizona and Washington, D.C.
The late senator will first lie in state at the Arizona State Capitol where a private ceremony will take place on Wednesday at 10 a.m. PST—which would have been McCain’s 82nd birthday. Members of the public get the chance to pay their respects in his hometown from 1 p.m. until 8 p.m. PST on Wednesday. There will also be a memorial service on Thursday at the National Phoenix Baptist Church where former Vice President and lifelong friend of McCain’s, Joe Biden, will speak.
His body will then be transported to Washington, D.C. to lie in state at the U.S. Capitol on Friday, making him the 13th senator to do so. A ceremony will take place at 10 a.m. and the public will be allowed to pay their respects from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m.
“The nation mourns the loss of a great American patriot, a statesman who put his country first and enriched this institution through many years of service,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a statement confirming the senator would lie in state at the U.S. Capitol. “I appreciate my colleagues and the entire Senate and House family’s assistance with this honor.”
A memorial service will also be held at the Washington National Cathedral on Saturday, Sept. 1 at 10 a.m. McCain’s office said a livestream will be available for the services at the National Phoenix Baptist Church and the National Cathedral.
Two former presidents will speak at the funeral.
Before he passed, McCain asked that both former presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama deliver eulogies at his services at the National Cathedral in Washington.
McCain was bested by both in presidential elections of 2000 and 2008, respectively, but both men deeply respected the senator and his request shows that the respect was reciprocated. Obama said McCain had the “courage to put the greater good” above his own. Bush called McCain “a man of deep conviction and a patriot of the highest order.”
“These were bitter contests, both of them,” Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., told the Associated Press. “To ask them to speak at your funeral, and for them to be honored at the opportunity, that tells you all you need to know.”
President Donald Trump, who did not release an official statement but rather posted a tweet sending condolences, was informed by McCain’s family that the senator requested that he not attend the services. However, Vice President Mike Pence is expected to attend.
McCain will be buried at the Naval Academy in Annapolis.
McCain came from a lineage of Navy admirals—both his father and grandfather served in the U.S. Navy. McCain graduated from the Naval Academy in Annapolis in 1958 later becoming a Naval aviator, retiring in 1981 as a captain.
His grave site will overlook the Severn River, and will be next to his old friend, Adm. Chuck Larson.
Last year on 60 Minutes, McCain told Leslie Stahl, “I want, when I leave, to just have a couple of people that stand up and say, ‘This guy, he served his country.’”