The nation honors Sen. John McCain

By Meg Wagner, Veronica Rocha and Brian Ries, CNN
11:50 a.m. ET, September 4, 2018
9:32 a.m. ET, September 1, 2018

Here's a list of who's attending today's service

Sen. John McCain's staff provided the following list of notable attendees expected to attend this morning's service. It includes a number of current and former US leaders, current and foreign leaders, and at least seven POWs:

Current and Former U.S. Leaders:

  • President Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
  • Vice President Al Gore
  • Vice President Richard Cheney
  • Secretary of State Madeleine Albright
  • Secretary of State John Kerry
  • Senators Bob Dole and Elizabeth Dole
  • Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Anthony Kennedy
  • Representative Gabby Giffords and Captain Mark Kelly
  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell
  • Speaker of the House Paul Ryan
  • Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer
  • House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi
  • Governor Mitt Romney
  • Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats
  • Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao
  • Attorney General Jeff Sessions
  • Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie
  • Superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy Walter E Carter, Jr.
  • Secretary of Commerce Don Evans
  • Several Current and Former Members of Congress

 Current and Former Foreign Leaders:

  • President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko 
  • Mayor of Kyiv Vitali Klitschko
  • Former Prime Minister of Ukraine Arseniy Yatsenyuk
  • Former Deputy Foreign Minister of Ukraine and Former Diplomatic Advisor to the Prime Minister of Ukraine Danylo Lubkivsky
  • Secretary General of NATO Jens Stoltenberg
  • Former Secretary General of NATO Anders Fogh Rasmussen
  • President of Panama Juan Carlos Varela
  • Former President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili
  • Minority Leader of the Parliament of Georgia (UNM) David Bakradze
  • Vice Speaker of the Parliament of Georgia (Dream Party) Tamar Chugoshvili
  • HE Sheikh Thani Bin Hamad Al Thani
  • Foreign Minister of Saudi Arabia Adel al-Jubeir
  • Director for International Affairs for the Office of the President of the Republic of Poland Witold Dzielski
  • Former President of Estonia Toomas Ilves
  • Defense Minister of Estonia Juri Luik
  • Foreign Minister of Estonia Sven Mikser
  • Former Canadian Minister of Defense and Member of Parliament Peter MacKay
  • Canadian Parliamentary Representative to the Minister of Foreign Affairs Andrew Leslie
  • Defense Minister of Canada Harjut Singh Sajjan
  • Foreign Minister of Lithuania Linas Linkevicius
  • Foreign Minister of Latvia Edgars Rinkevics
  • Former President of Colombia Jose Santos
  • President of the Bundestag (German Parliament) Wolfgang Schaeuble
  • Speaker of Taiwan Parliament Su Jia-chyuan
  • Former Sri Lankan Ambassador to the United States Devinda Subasinghe 


  • Commander Everett Alvarez Jr. (USN-ret)
  • General Charles (Chuck) Boyd
  • Colonel Michael (Mike) Brazelton
  • Captain Gerald (Jerry) Coffee
  • Captain Michael (Mike) Cronin
  • Colonel John Fer
  • Rear Admiral Robert (Bob) Shumaker
9:27 a.m. ET, September 1, 2018

Cindy McCain lays a wreath at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Cindy McCain laid a wreath at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial this morning in honor of her late husband, Sen. John McCain. McCain, and other members of the McCain family, are making their way to the National Cathedral for the funeral service now.


9:14 a.m. ET, September 1, 2018

Today: McCain to be honored at Washington National Cathedral memorial service

From CNN's Clare Foran

Friends, family and former presidents will gather at Washington National Cathedral this morning to honor the life of the late Sen. John McCain.

The ceremony, which begins at 10 a.m. ET, will feature tributes from Republican former President George W. Bush, who prevailed over McCain in the race for the Republican presidential nomination in 2000, and Democratic former President Barack Obama, who ran against McCain in the 2008 presidential election and won.

The remarks from former Democratic and Republican presidents who were once rivals to McCain will send an unmistakable message of unity and bipartisanship at a time when Washington is deeply divided.

Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, former Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut and Meghan McCain, one of the late senator's daughters, are also on the list of those slated to speak at Saturday's memorial service.

Democratic former Vice President Joe Biden, who delivered an emotional eulogy for McCain at a memorial service in Arizona on Thursday, will serve as a pallbearer on Saturday.

Actor Warren Beatty, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Democratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, former Democratic Sen. Russ Feingold of Wisconsin and former chief of staff to McCain Mark Salter will also serve as pallbearers, among others.

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, a close friend of McCain's, and McCain's children Jimmy and Sidney McCain will take part in the ceremony as well.

4:34 p.m. ET, August 31, 2018

Presidents Bush and Obama will speak at McCain's memorial service tomorrow

From CNN's Sophie Tatum

The flag-draped casket bearing the remains of Sen. John McCain of Arizona is carried into the Capitol Rotunda, followed by his widow, Cindy McCain, upper right, for a farewell ceremony and public visitation on Aug. 31, 2018 in Washington.

A memorial service for the late Sen. John McCain will be held Saturday at the National Cathedral in Washington.

While traveling from the US Capitol to the National Cathedral, the motorcade will stop at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, where McCain's wife, Cindy McCain, will lay a wreath to honor those who died in the war.

The memorial service at the cathedral will begin at 10 a.m. Scheduled speakers include:

  • Former President George W. Bush
  • Former President Barack Obama
  • Former Sen. Kelly Ayotte
  • Sen. Lindsey Graham
  • Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger
2:43 p.m. ET, August 31, 2018

Meghan McCain posts Instagram picture with “uncles” Graham and Lieberman 

From CNN's Betsy Klein

Meghan McCain posted a picture with Sen. Lindsey Graham and former Sen. Joe Lieberman.

Both men had been longtime friends of her father. It appears the picture was taken today, as Meghan’s outfit and hair appear to be similar to what she had on at the Capitol today. 

1:43 p.m. ET, August 31, 2018

The public is now paying respect to McCain

From CNN's Tom Foreman and Ashley Killough

Dignitaries pauses as they pay respects to Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who lies in state in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda on Aug. 31, 2018 in Washington.

Security is now letting members of the public inside the US Capitol to say their final goodbyes to the late Sen. John McCain, who is lying in state.

They will be allowed to do so until 8 p.m. ET.

One of those visitors is Heidi Williams, who says she wants to pay tribute to a man who was bipartisan.

I just feel like today in this environment that it’s a great way to pay respect to a man who was a bipartisan you know I think as you read about him and learn about him that even if you didn’t believe in his politics that you could respect him as a man. He fought for this country, I think he fought for normal people. I feel that we are just in such turmoil right now that he’s one of the last and we hope that the young people come up and vote and change what’s going on right now in this country. And so I just wanted to come I’ve never done this before and so three girlfriends, we all came and decided that it was a pretty meaningful thing.
12:38 p.m. ET, August 31, 2018

Cindy McCain will visit with staff, and her husband's desk on the Senate floor

From CNN's Dana Bash

Cindy McCain, wife of Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., touches his flag-draped casket during a farewell ceremony in the U.S. Capitol rotunda on Aug. 31, 2018 in Washington.

Sen. John McCain's wife, Cindy McCain, is still on Capitol Hill, and she and Sen. Lindsey Graham will address the Senate staff. 

Afterwards, Graham will escort McCain to the Senate Floor to visit her late husband's desk.

12:10 p.m. ET, August 31, 2018

Now: McCain's family, friends and colleagues say goodbye

One by one, McCain's family and then his friends and colleagues approached the coffin to say goodbye.

Generations of men and women who had sparred with McCain in politics, but also been shaped by his philosophy of "country first," stood for a brief moment of silence at the casket, which will now lie in state in the rotunda for the remainder of the day.

On Saturday, a memorial service will be held at the National Cathedral, where former Presidents Bush, a Republican, and Barack Obama, a Democrat, will speak.

11:43 a.m. ET, August 31, 2018

McCain wanted a bipartisan wreath laying at the Capitol

From CNN's Dana Bash

The Capitol Memorial program is all protocol, with the exception of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

The two lawmakers participated in the wreath laying at Sen. John McCain's ceremony in the US Capitol.

McCain expressly wanted Schumer, a Democrat, so he and McConnell jointly laid the Senate wreath.