tv Sen. John Mc Cain Arizona Memorial Service CSPAN August 30, 2018 5:42pm-7:28pm EDT
>> tonight, president trump will be speaking at a campaign rally in support of republican senate candidate mike brawn who is running against democratic senator joe donnelly. our live coverage begins at 8:00 p.m. eastern. and we continue to bring you events honoring the life and career of senator john mccain. who died saturday at the age of 81. right now his casket is being flown to andrews air force base in marle and we expect a brief arrival ceremony around 7:30 p.m. eastern. we'll have that live here on c-span. earlier today, there was a memorial service held in phoenix. the arizona republican's long-time senate colleague, former vice president joe biden, was one of the speakers.
>> you may be seated. on behalf of of the mccain family, thank you also much for being here this morning as we remember and celebrate the life of senator john mccain. a true american hero, a man loved by this church, a man loved by this nation and the city, a man of courage, a man of faith, and the man who dearly love to family. as we celebrate and get into the service, i want to offer you a board a scripture from the word of god that will bring us comfort. it comes from the book of first thessalonians chapter four. brothers and sisters, we not want to to be uninformed by those who sleep in death so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind who have no hope because we believe that jesus died and rose again. we believe that god will bring, with jesus, those were fallen to sleep in him.
but a word of promise, hope, and comfort from the word of god. let's pray together. father in heaven, the creator and maker of all things, there is nothing new under the sun for you, father. you know all things before they appen. in this morning, lord, we pray for the friends and family of senator mccain. and we will grieve, we will mourn, father. and we will do so with a different hope because of the faith he has placed in jesus christ. that we can, with confidence, grieve with the hope to know that this very moment, he is spending eternity with jesus christ as lord and savior. what a comfort. that is in jesus name we pray, amen.
>> i was 28 years old and i'd only been a public defender, i was a few years out of law school. for some reason john mccain asked me to be his chief of staff when he got elected. on my first day at 7:00 a.m., john mccain picked me up at my house. i went to the car and said, do you want me to drive? he said, i am going to drive. so i said, do you want me to sit in the back seat? [laughter] i'm no member in this, but i thought the staff drove. he said, no, boy, get in the car.
for the next half hour, we talked about the football game the day before, and whatever was in the news, politics, told a few jokes, and it was at the same time, just really a lot of fun, and also, quite terrifying because of his ridiculously bad driving. [laughter] when he would get excited, he drove like this anyway, and then he would get excited and start drifting off. i said, hello, over there. he finally got to where we are going, and i said, by the way, what are we doing? i hired the whole staff and i want you to meet him. i said, ok, that's good. [laughter] so we met the staff and we went back to the car. and all the staff came out and were waiting. -- waving. i said, they seemed to be there a nice, and he said, you have to fire half of them. [laughter] i thought, what you talking about? he just sped off and the staff
was waving. about one minute later, we went back by because he had gone the wrong way, of course. [laughter] waved again, and those two hours epitomized the next 35 years for me. with john mccain. s of it was a little bit wild and crazy. but a lot of fun, and the greatest honor of my life. people ask me all the time, did you know in those early years, did you have a feeling you had someone so special there? and i said, absolutely, no question about it. the first time, it was in december over in my hometown of mesa, arizona. we were at a rotary club, and it was all men at that time. and you know, these are tough guys, kind of cynical about things, and here is this new guy in town.
and one of them asked them since it was december, asked them, what about christmas in prison? and he told them a couple of stories, and one when he was interrogated for quite a while and it did not go well for his captors, and they were upset with him, so they tied him up and they tied the ropes tight and it was very painful and they left him there for the night. and some guard came in who he did not know, had never spoken to. and at 10:00 p.m. the guard walked in and loosened the ropes. at about 4:00 a.m., the guard came back and tightened them up again so he wouldn't get in trouble. and john did not know why that happened. but he found out a little clue a couple of weeks later before christmas when he was standing in the dirt yard and that guard just walked up next to him and the guard didn't say a word, but
, he drew a cross in the dirt and they looked at it for a minute and then the guard rubbed it out and went on his way. and it was quiet in that room when john told that. and then he said, you know, on christmas eve, we celebrated. and we got together under this light bulb and we sang christmas carols. and we quoted bible verses that we could remember. and we told the gospel story to ach other. and i guess just that image of this band of brothers together in this godforsaken place,
singing to each other, and there at the front, our guy, john mccain. beaten up, but not down. singing his favorite christmas carol, "silent night, holy night, all is calm, all is bright, round yon virgin, mother and child, holy infant, so tender and mild." words seemed so far away from that place, but they lead on the -- they leaned on the faith of their fathers and their faith in each other, and their faith in their country. and their faith in god. i looked at him and that audience in my hometown, those were some of my peers and the peers of my parents. those were tough, independent guys. they were ranchers, and farmers, and some cowboys, businessmen, entrepreneurs, and they were crying.
because they saw in john mccain a little bit of what they hoped to see in themselves. john mccain, the embodiment of values they hoped to see for their country. over the next few months and years, john got to know this place. and he fell in love with arizona. he loved the people, our diversity, our native american community, our hispanic culture, and he loved the place, in particular, the grand canyon. the colorado river, we floated down that twice together, and then he kept going back. he kept going back and he loved it. he hiked the canyon with jack not that long ago. rim to rim. he loved sedona. he loved this place. and if john mccain fell in love
with arizona, arizona fell in love with john mccain. we ran a lot of races here. a lot of elections. he never lost. never really very close. arizona loved him. hokum your the only politician that comes down here? said, it is because you guys don't vote. >> [laughter] woods: those other dudes vote like, 100%.
i said, you didn't say that, did you? there is this big retirement community called leisure world. they were not happy with their new nickname. john said, i screwed up. we have to go out there. "we." >> [laughter] about aods: there was 90-year-old guy in a golf cart right there, and he was giving us the finger. we both said, that is great. like, good to see you. thank you. he won the election in that
precinct. we are going to miss so many things about him in our city. miss his sense of humor and love of sports. he loved our teams like, nonstop. not a coincidence. friends justcome with the best players, but with the best people. and he loved you guys. i hope that what he stood for will maybe get a renewed look in our country. that is what he would want. we recognize him now, but now, let's get to work. and i'm sure the vice president will talk about him and bipartisanship, but he believed
so much that in the end, this republican/democratic thing is not so important. we are all americans and we have to get to the point where we can work together as americans. the support of the military. i hope you members of congress will keep that strong. it was so important that he had their backs. and john mccain believed in our he fought forand it every step of the way, so he would not stand by as people try to trample the constitution or bill of rights, including the first amendment. when we proclaim to the world that every single human being is important, every single human being is precious, every single person in this world has the right to live free, not because the government says so, because god gave us that right.
so john mccain, his entire life, stood by the freedom fighters across the world. he was there. he was there figuratively and literally, by their side, wherever they were, acknowledging their right to live free. it is, it is a long and winding road that took him from that dirt yard in hanoi to the dirt back roads of hidden valley. through it all, he was resolute. he was courageous every step of the way. and in arizona, he was our hero. i think you can see from this outpouring of support and love for john mccain that he was america's hero.
opportunity of meeting congressman john mccain in washington when i was visiting, and he said, you need to meet this congressman, this young, maverick, full of energy. i said, oh yeah? besides that, he will become president of the united states, so you need to meet him. i said, ok. we met in virginia at, my apologies, it was rough getting alexandria.up here, cindy and my cell phone we had dinner at this nice, little restaurant -- cindy and myself, we had dinner at this nice, little restaurant. there was something about his
energy level. he starts talking and asking me about my background. i asked him about his. before i knew it, we felt very comfortable with each other going back and forth. so then i got enough nerve to ask him, i said, congressman, what was it that allowed you to be in a prisoner of war camp? what kept you together? and he said, well, you know, most people asked me how they treated me, and obviously, they treated me really bad. but he said, one was my faith in god. my love for my family, and my faith in my country. he said, those things kept me together. so, we kept talking that evening, and as i thought about that discussion, and for this
talk, i wanted to reflect with you a reading from corinthians: 13, which captures senator john mccain. "the lives you give away to the poor, all that i possess, and even give up my body to be burned, if i am without love, it will do me no good." when you think about an individual like senator mccain, who suffered, who was in prison, was injured, and yet, with all that, was able to keep his faith together, his focus on this country, the focus on his family, i believe that that period of time, those five
years, is when god formed this fantastic hero. god took an opportunity to mold this young man who came from a military family. god used those minutes, those hours, those days, those years, to put together a human being that we will be talking about the senator for generations. john mccain was a person who loved with his energy, who loved all of us. who loved his country. that evening while we were having dinner, he said, when phoenix, we need to have dinner. and of course, back then, i was pretty cocky. so i said, well, congressman, i
know a number of congressmen and a couple of senators and we always hear that. he says well, when we get back, you give me a date and i will be there. i said, i'm going to invite you to my house. us mexican-americans love to cook and we love to have folks at our homes if you are really , going to be a friend. he chuckled. so a couple of months later when i got back home, we called and up a dinner at the house. and i was preparing tortillas and all of that stuff, and my homemade salsa. and i get a call from his office they say he is running late. so, i ask, what is the problem? they said, it is his birthday and he wants to spend a bit of time with his family. [laughter] and of course, i panic and say, you know, if he wants to cancel, i understand, please.
and they made it very clear to us that he is coming to your house to have dinner. so, i scrambled and found a mariachi group -- dohought, i need to something really good. [laughter] mexican food is not going to get me there. luckily, they got there 10 minutes before he arrived. so cindy and the congressman walk into the kitchen and the mariachis started playing and they were singing the traditional mexican birthday song in our culture, and of course, john and cindy lit up and it was a great evening, and we enjoyed the night. senator john mccain keeps his word. that is the senator we have had all of these years.
that is the senator i hope people can embrace what he stood for in our country, and yes, he was a maverick. in his first senatorial campaign, i get a call and it is him on the phone with father tony, dear friend of mine, and they say, you have got the congressman on the phone. i don't know how he tracked me down, but we were in a restaurant. i get the phone and he said, i am running for u.s. senate. you know john, he was going 100 miles an hour. and i'm going, like, ok. he says, i want you to cochair my campaign. and i said, john, you know, i'm a democrat. [laughter] i am not sure that is going to help you with your republican campaign. [laughter]
he said, i don't care, you are my friend and i want you to cochair. i said, let me sleep on it. he said, no, no, i need an answer right now. yes or no? and of course, i said yes. once again, senator john mccain goes over to the other side. then.an activist back and we would go back and forth. with john, at the end of the day, we could go a couple of years without seeing each other, but when we did, it was like old home week. he was warm. he was going 100 miles an hour, but he made time to be with you. and the second time, we get a call. to come to las vegas.
was when he was in his presidential campaign. we end up there with his two right hand folks who i have the greatest respect for. we did a quick chat, and john said i want you to speak on my behalf at the republican convention. [laughter] >> i said senator, i would like to remind you that i'm a democrat. "i don't care. i want you there." i said yes, i will be there. he said, with a big smile, watch out when you start your car. [laughter] i said ok senator, i will do that.
john put me out in a national theme, and i must confess he did a number of things that i could stand here all day and share with you different stories. i will tell you, once we met when megan was on the tv program. he said did you see her? , i said no, i don't watch tv that much, and he said well, you start watching her. ok. that was our great senator. as we were walking out, he asked my wife, i have a question for you. if i put a woman on our ticket as vice president, what do you think about that? my wife is not the type that
holds back, she's a mexican from mexico city, and they have a tendency of telling you how it is. the senator liked that. she said i don't care if it's a man or a woman. if something happens to you, i want to make sure that person can run the country. so john looked at her and said ok, we walked out, and needless to say we heard later who had been selected. regardless, there was the senator again, taking the risk of putting forth a woman for vice president. it is most prize that he got together with kennedy to push forth immigration reform. when he talked about immigration, it was not so much the politics. believe say, i can't
these families that come from another country, from mexico, and central america, work, cutting our grass, feeding us, feeding the labor force we need, and now we turn on them? that struck at the heart of what he thought our great country was about. i believe it cost him a presidential campaign. for me, it is very dear with the senator is about. -- what the senator is about. john reflected our country in its true form. my father is a marine, he passed away in february. once a marine, always a marine he would say. he was wounded in guam, purple heart. when he talked about john mccain , he would say he understands us. he understands us. and i must confess, he did understand us.
he understood all of us, whether he was white, black, brown, asian, to him it did not make any difference. what he knew was that we all make america great. i hope that in his legacy, the senators, governors, mayors, city council members, elected officials embrace the thought of love. because john reflected love, and love of the strong man. and that is nowadays hard to come by. so his legacy will go on for generations, because people talk about senator john mccain as one of the greatest heroes in our lifetime. with that, and if you permit me,
>> i fell in love with my country when i was prisoner in someone else's, senator mccain spoke these heartfelt words as he accepted the nomination in 2008. they were the words of an american hero. we know how the story goes, a navy pilot shot down by the north vietnamese over a lake. as his plane sped out of control he got out in time to plunge into the lake. mccain, wasa young taken hostage is a prisoner of -- as a prisoner of war.
he spent more than five and a half years, almost 2000 days, enduring countless beatings, torture, solitary confinement, and mental and emotional anguish none of us will have to endure. after getting to know him, i felt compelled to visit vietnam, i wanted to see the places where the will of john mccain was tested. i saw the lake. i walked the steps. the ordeal my friend survived became all the more real. many might wonder what a young african-american kid from minnesota, and a highly decorated war hero and senator might have in common. i thought of a few. i am black, he was white. [laughter] i am young, he was not so young. [laughter] he lived with physical limitations brought on by war,
i'm a professional athlete. he ran for president, i went out -- ran out of bounds. [laughter] he was the epitome of toughness, and i do everything i can to avoid contact. [laughter] i have flowing locks, and well, he did not. how does this unlikely pair become friends? i have asked myself this same question. but you know the answer, that's just who he is. over the several years i had privileged to spend time with senator mccain. sometimes it was a visit to our practices. sometimes it was him saying you need to pick it up on sunday. [laughter] i'm thankful that through these moments, and the opportunities we had to share our lives, and more importantly our stories. we are from different worlds and we developed a meaningful friendship.
this highlights the rare and special qualities of senator mccain that i came to deeply admire. he did not judge individuals based on their skin color, gender, backgrounds, political affiliations or bank accounts. he evaluated them on the merits of their character and what was in their hearts. he judged them on the work they put in and on the principles they live by. it was this approach to humanity that made him so respected by countless people around the world, including me. his accomplishments were many. u.s. senator, presidential statesman, warrior, hero. his work ethic? tireless. his fight? legendary. but what made him so special was that he cared about the substance of my heart. more than where i came from.
some might find our friendship out of the ordinary. it was the perfect example of what made him an iconic figure of service to our fellow man. he celebrated differences, embraced humanity championed , what was true and just, and saw people for who they were. ours was an unlikely friendship, but it is what i will always cherish. i have had the honor of attending several forums hosted by senator mccain and his remarkable wife, cindy. they were world leaders in politics, scientists -- there were world beaters, and -- in politics, science, and education, to discuss the most matters of our time. they gathered to find real solutions and because senator mccain asked them to be there. his devotion to making arizona,
the united states, and the whole world a better place for everyone inspired countless leaders, like those at the sedona forums. i'm confident his legacy of devotion and to the common good will inspire people around the world long after today. a few years ago, he was kind enough to take me on a personal tour of the u.s. senate. it was obvious senator mccain was highly regarded, he believed to be right and what was good regardless of the side of the political aisle you fell on. i saw how respected he was and how much admiration he commanded from people across the political spectrum. but it was not surprising, because senator mccain was known as a man of integrity and conviction. a man who, at times, after he sacrificed himself or his fellow pows willingly chose to sacrifice his own political gains to accomplish what he believed was best for all.
lost the support of a political ally here and there but he gained the respect of an entire nation. in closing, i would like to honor the love i saw in senator mccain. he loved the people of arizona, serving them passionately and diligently for decades. he took that same love to washington and boldly advocated for freedom and liberties he had grown to love. but the love i saw most was the love he had for his wife and children. i heard him speak about them -- and theto the love always came pouring through in every word. senator mccain is that it has been a true honor to call you a friend. your bravery inspired us, your d and improvedce our lives. your devotion won our admiration.
your love set an example for all of us. jackie robinson once said, life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives. senator mccain, we will miss the blessings of being in your presence but we will never forget the impact you had on the world, and more importantly on each of the lives that you trust. -- that you type. we are all better for having known you. rest in peace my friend. [applause] biden: my name is joe biden. [laughter] >> i'm a democrat. [laughter] >> and i love john mccain.
i have had the dubious honor, over the years, of giving some eulogies for fine women and men to but i have admired. but this one is hard. this great man, who spoke before me, capture to john in a way that only someone close to him could understand. but the way i look at it and the way i thought about it, was that i always thought of john is a brother. family fights. [laughter] >> we go back a long way. i was a young senator, i was
elected when i was 29 and i had the dubious distinction of being on the foreign relations committee, which the next youngest person was 14 years older than me. i spend a lot of time traveling the world, because i was assigned a responsibility, i was the chairman of the european subcommittee and i spent a lot of time in nato. and along came a guy a few years later, a guy i knew of and admired from afar. your husband, who had been a prisoner of war, who endured
enormous pain-and-suffering, and demonstrated a code. the mccain code. people don't think much about it today, but imagine having already known the pain you were likely to endure, big offered the opportunity to go home, and saying no. last one in, last one out. i knew john. john became the navy liaison officer in the united states senate. there's an office that used to be on the base, it had members of the military who are assigned to senators when they travel abroad to meet with heads of state or other foreign dignitaries. john had been recently anointed a genuine hero, and he became the naval liaison. for some reason, we hit it off
from the beginning. we were both full of dreams, and ambitions. and an overwhelming desire to make the time we had worthwhile. we tried to do the right thing, to think about how we could make things better for the country we love so much. john i ended up traveling, every time i went anywhere john went with me and i went with him. we were in china, japan, russia, germany, france, all over the world. we would sit on that plane, late in the night when everyone else was asleep, and talk.
we would talk about family, politics, international relations, promises. the promise of america. we were both optimists, we believe there was not a single thing beyond the capacity of this country. for real, not a single thing. and when you get to know one other woman or man, their hopes and fears, their families before you meet them. we talked about everything
except captivity and the loss of my family which had just occurred, my wife and daughter. the only two things we did not talk about. i found that it was not too long into his duties that jill and i got married. jill is with me today. for five years i have been a single dad, no-bid deserves one great love, let alone two. and i met jill who changed my life. and she fell in love with him and he with her. later, he would call her jilly. when they get bored, i would have them with me on these trips, i remember saying i will take jill to dinner. i later learned they were done at the cafe, at the port. and he has her dancing on top of the cement table, drinking ouzo.
we got to know each other well. he loved my sons, as a young man he came up to my house, to wilmington. out of this grow great friendship, that transcended whatever political differences we had, or later developed. above all, we understood the same thing. all politics is personal, it's about trust. i trusted john with my life, and i think you would trust me with his. we both knew then, from our different experiences, and as our lives progressed we learned more, there are times when life can be so cruel, pain so blinding, it gets hard to see anything else.
it took our friends teddy's life, it took john's life, and it took my son's life. it's brutal, relentless, unforgiving. it takes so much from those we love it from the families that love them, but in order to survive we have to remember how they lived. not how they died. i carry with me, me and major beau, smiling away on the boat. not the last days.
i'm sure vicki kennedy has her own image, seeing teddy look so alive on that sailboat, out on the cape. for the family, you will all find your own images. whether you remember to smile, laugh, or just that touch of silver running his hand on your cheek. or just feeling like someone is smiling at you. just looking at you. or whatever you saw the sheer joy that crossed his face that he do he was about to take the stage of the senate floor and start a fight. [laughter] he loved it. [laughter] so to cindy, and the kids, doug and eddie, megan, jack, jimmy, bridget, and i know she's not here but to mrs. mccain.
we know how difficult it is to bury a child, my heart goes out to you. i know the pain you were feeling that was so sharp and hollowing, and his absence is consuming. like being sucked to a blacklist side of your trust. it's frightening. i know something else from experience, there's nothing anyone can say or do to ease the pain. but i pray that you take some comfort, knowing that because you shared john with all of us your whole life, the world now shares with you the ache of his death.
look around this magnificent church. look at what you thought the state capital yesterday. it's hard to stand there but part of it, part of it was, at least it was for me standing with beau, you knew it was genuine, deep. he touched so many lives i have gotten calls, not just because people knew we were friends, but i have people calling around the world. i have gotten the hundreds of letters. testifying to his character, his destiny, john had character.
you. for that there is no balm, but time, time and your memories of a life lived well and fully. i make you a promise, i promise you, the time will come -- it will happen, six months will go by, everyone will think it has passed but you'll ride by that field, or smell that fragrance, or see that flashing image, and you will feel like you did the day you got the news but you
know you will make it, with the image of your dad, husband, friend, crosses your mind, and the smile comes, that's what you know. i promise you, i'd if you my word is followed by prophecy because i know, that day will come. that day will come. i'm sure, former colleagues, and those who worked with john, i'm sure there's people who said not only know but in the last 10 years, explain this guy to me? because as i looked at him, and what sets they admired him, but they look at him as if he came from another age. he lived by a different code, and ancient code of honor, courage, character, integrity, and duty. it was obvious that that was how he lived his life. the truth is, john's code was ageless. is ageless.
when you talked earlier, grant, you talked about values. disagree on substance but the underlying values that animated everything john did, everything he was. you can come to a different conclusion, but where he'd part company with you, you lack basic values of decency, respect, knowing this project is bigger than yourself. john's story is the american
story. it's not hyperbole. it's the american story. grounded in respect and decency, basic fairness. the tolerance of the abuse of power. look at the rest of the world. they look at us as a little naive. we're so fair, we're so decent. we're the naive americans. but that's who we are. that's who john was. and he could not stand the abuse of power wherever he saw it. in whatever form in whatever country. he was always about basic
values, john, fairness, honesty, dignity, of respect, giving hate no safe harbor, leaving no one behind and understand as americans, we're part of something much bigger than ourselves. with john, it was a was neither selfish nor self-serving. john understood that america was first and foremost an idea, audacious and risky, organized around, not tribe, but around ideals. think of how he approached every issue. the ideals that americans have rallied around for over 200 years, the ideals that the world has repaired to, an idea enshrined in the constitution. sounds corny. we hold these truths
self-evident that all men are created equal, endowed by their creator, with certain inalienable rights. to john, those words had meaning, as they have for every great patriot that has ever served this country. we both loved the senate. proudest years of my life was being a united states senator, and i was honored to be vice president. but being a united states senator -- and we both lamented watching it change. during long debates in the 1980's and 1990's, as some of the colleagues around then would know, i would always go over and sit next to john, next to seat.
or he'd come over the democratic side and sit next to me. no, i'm not joking. because we'd sit there and we talked to each other. and i can remember the day when i came out to see john, we reminisced about it. it was in 1996, and we were about to adjourn for what we call the caucuses. there is a luncheon once a week that all the democratic senators have lunch together and all the republican senators. and we both went into our caucus and coincidentally we were approached by our caucus leaders with the same thing, raised as discussion -- joe, it doesn't look good you sitting next to john all the time. [laughter] swear to god. same thing was said to john in your caucus. [laughter] that's when things began to change for the worse in america, in the senate. that's when it changed. what happened was, those times, it was always appropriate to challenge another senator's judgment but never appropriate to challenge their motive. when you challenge their motive, it's impossible to get to go. if i say you're doing this because you're being paid off, if i say you're doing this because you're not a christian, if i say you're doing this because you are this, that, or
the other thing, it's impossible to reach consensus. think about in your personal lives. but all we do today is attack the oppositions of both parties, their motives, not the substance of their argument. this is the mid 1990's. it began to go downhill from there. the last day john was on the senate floor, look what he was fighting to do. he was fighting to restore what we call regular order. just to treat one another begin like we used to. the senate was never perfect, john. we know that. we were there a long time together. but i'd watch teddy kennedy and james o. ethan fight like hell on civil rights and they'd go to
lunch together down in the senate dining room. john wanted to see, quote, regular order writ large, get to know one another. you know, john and i were both amused and i think lindsey was at one of these events where john and i received two prestigious awards, the last year i was vice president and then one immediately after, for our dignity and respect we showed to one another. we received an award for civility in public life. there is a college, allegany county, college that puts out these prestigious award every year for bipartisanship. john and i looked at each other and said, what in the hell is going on here? no, not a joke. [laughter] i say to senator flake, that's
how it's always supposed to be. you getting an award? i'm serious. think about this. getting an award for your civility. getting an award for bipartisanship. classic john, allegany college, hundreds of people there, we got the award, john -- the senate was in session so he spoke first. and as he walked off the stage and i walked on, he looked at me and said, joe, don't take it personal, but i just don't want to hear what the hell you have to say, and left. [laughter] one of john's major campaign people is now with the senate, with the governor of ohio, was on this morning. i happened to watch it. he said biden-mccain had this strange relationship.
they always seemed to have each other's back. whenever i was in trouble, john was the first guy there. and i hope i was there for him. and we never hesitate to give each other advice. he called me in the middle of the campaign, what the hell did you say that for? [laughter] it's not an issue. like, you just screwed up, joe, you know, and i'd occasionally call him. look, i've been thinking this week why john's death has hit the country so hard. yes, he was a long-serving senator with a remarkable record. yes, he was a two-time presidential candidate who captured the support and imagination of the american people. and, yes, john was with a -- was a war hero.
i must think of john and my son, when the will defies fear, when duty throws a gaunt let down to fate, when honor scorns to compromise with death, that is heroism. everybody knows that about john. but i don't think it fully explains why the country has been so taken by john's passing. i think it's something more intangible. i think it's because they knew john believed so deeply and so passionately in the soul of america, that he made easier for them to have confidence and faith in america. his faith in the core values of this nation made them somehow feel it more genuinely themselves. his conviction that we, the country, would never walk away from the sacrifices generations of americans have made to defend liberty and freedom and human dignity around the world. it made average americans proud of themselves and their country.
his belief -- and it was deep -- that americans can do anything, withstand anything, achieve anything, was both unflagging and ultimately reassuring that this man believed that so strongly. his capacity that we truly are the world's last best hope, that we're the beacon to the world, that there are principles and ideals greater than ourselves and we're suffering, sacrificing for and if necessary, dying for.
americans saw how he lived his life that way, and he they knew the truth of what he was saying. i just think he gave americans confidence. john was a hero. his character, courage, honor, integrity, but i think the things understated the most is his optimism. that's what made john special, made john a giant among all of us. but in my view, john didn't believe that america's future and fate rested on heroes. what i talk most about him is he understood what i hope we all remember, heroes didn't build this country. ordinary people being given half a chance are capable of doing extraordinary things,
extraordinary things. john knew ordinary americans understood that each of us has a duty to defend the integrity, dignity, and birthright of every child. good communities are built by thousands of small acts of decency. that americans, as i speak today, show each other every single day. very deep in the d.n.a. of this nation's soul lies a flame that was lit over 200 years ago, that each of us carries with us and each one of us has the capacity, the responsibility, and we can screw up the courage to ensure it's not extinguish. it's a thousand little things that make us different. the bottom line was, i think john believed in us. i think he believed in the american people, not just all the preambles, the constitution.
he believed in the american people. all 325 million of us. even though john is no longer with us, he left us pretty clear instructions. quote, believe always in the promise and greatness of america, because nothing is inevitable here. close to the last thing john said took the whole nation as he knew he was about to depart, that's what he wanted america to understand. not to build his legacy. he wanted america to understand. i think john's legacy is going to continue to inspire and challenge generations of leaders as they step forward, and john mccain's impact on america is not over. it's not hyperbole. it's not over. i don't think it's even close. cindy, john owed so much of what he was to you. you were his ballast. whenever i was with you both, i could just see how he looked at you.
jill's the one when we were in hawaii, he first met you there, he kept staring at you and jill finally said, go up and talk to her. [laughter] and doug and ann, sidney, meghan, jack, jimmy, bridgette, you may not have your father as long as you would have liked but you got from him everything you need, to pursue your own dreams, to follow the course of your own spirit. you are a living legacy, not hyperbole. you are a living legacy and proof of john mccain's success. now john's going to take his rightful place in a long line of extraordinary leaders in this nation's history who in their time and in their way stood for
freedom and stood for liberty and have made the american story the most improbable and the most hopeful and the most enduring story on earth. i know john said he hoped he played a small part in had that story. john, you did much more than that, my friend. to paraphrase shakespeare, we shall not see his like again. [applause]
>> the second reading is from second timothy, chapter 4, versus 6-8. for i am already being poured out like a drink offering and the time for my departure is near, i have fought the good fight, i have finished the race, i have kept the faith. now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness which the lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day and not only to me but also to all who have long for his appearing. >> [note]i love you, arizona your mountains, deserts and streams the rise of dos cabezas and the outlaws i see in my dreams
household word that it always was. let it be spoken without effect, without a trace of shadow on it. we pray, lord, god, may john mccain's vision be in our eyes, his voice in our words and our tongue, his listening to the needs of others in our ears, his love for his country in our hearts. bless you, john mccain, in the name of the father, the son, and the holy spirit. >> [note] ♪ ♪
>> as we come to a close, i'd like to read some words that were beautifully written by his daughter, meghan. my father is gone and i miss him as only an adoring daughter can, but in this loss and in this sorrow i take comfort in this -- john mccain, hero of the republic and to his little girl, waits today to something more glorious than anything on this earth.
today, the warrior enters his true and eternal life grieved by those who have gone before him. and she writes, rising to meet the author of all things. we will grieve, we will mourn, but i want you to think about her words. in this very moment, senator john mccain is in heaven. with god the father and jesus the son. no more cancer. no more pain. mo more sickness. no more burdens of this world -- no more sickness. no more burdens of this world. in fact, his biggest problem is what channel can i find in heaven in order to watch larry play on sunday? [laughter] all joking aside, he's a free man and he's more alive than he's ever been. he see, senator mccain professed
christianity, and here's the hope in what senator mccain believed. romans 3:23. for all of sin fallen short of the glory of god, romans 6:23, that the wages of sin was death. the gift of god was eternal life through his son jesus christ. to the hope that we have is the good news is the hope that senator john mccain believed this from john 3:16. for god gave the world that he gave his only begotten son that who believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. when we grieve and when we mourn, understand he has eternal life and he is with the father in heaven because of his faith in jesus christ. that is something to find comfort in. that is the reason why meghan can write these words so beautifully.
let us pray together. father, as we leave from this place we ask you give comfort to cindy and the family. as vice president joe biden said, there will be days that the freshness of this lossness hits them hard, father. and in those moments, lord, when they find themselves by themselves mourning this deep pain and sorrow, will you comfort them, god? give them the strength they need to walk every single day. god, as we mourn, as your scripture says, we mourn differently for those that have hope because senator john mccain believes you sent your only son to walk this earth and live a sinless life.
to die on the cross for our sins for the things we deserved. he believed that jesus christ was put in the tomb and he rose again. he defeated death. that is the reason to celebrate and that is the reason for us to have comfort. it's in jesus' name we pray. amen. i want to thank you, all, again, on behalf of the mccain family for being here and supporting them. at this moment we're going to ask you to stay seated until the family, the entire family has exited the building.
>> that memorial service took place in phoenix this afternoon. casket is being flown to joint base andrews in maryland, and we expect a ceremony when the plane lands. a reporter in baltimore tweeted this picture with flags at the base at half staff. the plane is expected in a short , and around 7:40 eastern we will take you there for the arrival when it happens on c-span.