Joe Biden wipes a tear as he pays tribute to ‘brother’ John McCain

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Senator John McCain was remembered as a “true American hero” and a “terrible driver” at a church service ahead of his state funeral.

Addressing around 3,500 mourners in an Arizona church, former Democrat vice president Joe Biden said the Republican senator had a “wicked sense of humour” and “loved a good battle”.

He recalled “the joy that crossed his face when he knew he was about to take the stage of the Senate floor and start a fight”.

Mr Biden said he thought of Mr McCain as a brother “with a lot of family fights”.

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People lined the motorcade route as Mr McCain's casket was taken to the Phoenix church  Joe Biden wipes a tear as he pays tribute to ‘brother’ John McCain skynews mccain phoenix funeral 4406213
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People lined the motorcade route as Mr McCain’s casket was taken to the Phoenix church
A family pays their respects as the motorcade passes  Joe Biden wipes a tear as he pays tribute to ‘brother’ John McCain skynews john mccain funeral 4406220
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A family pays their respects as the motorcade passes

The service at the North Baptist Church in Phoenix was held for the statesman, former prisoner of war and 2008 presidential candidate after his body was driven in a motorcade from the state capital.

Mourners waving American flags and McCain signs lined the route five days after he died of brain cancer aged 81.

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John McCain's wife Cindy at the Arizona State Capitol  Joe Biden wipes a tear as he pays tribute to ‘brother’ John McCain skynews john mccain arizona 4404981




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Veteran US senator John McCain lies in state at Arizona State Capitol before funeral

Family members watched in silence as members of the military removed the flag-draped coffin from a black hearse and carried it into the church.

Mr McCain’s longtime chief of staff, Grant Woods spoke about the senator’s “terribly bad driving” and his sense of humour – which drew a chuckle.

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Cindy McCain, John McCain's widow, waits outside the church  Joe Biden wipes a tear as he pays tribute to ‘brother’ John McCain skynews john mccain cindy mccain 4406217
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Cindy McCain, the senator’s widow, waits outside the church

Meanwhile, the church’s senior pastor, Noe Garcia, said Mr McCain was “a true American hero”.

Mr Biden made a thinly veiled reference to Donald Trump when he spoke about Mr McCain’s opposition to those who “lacked the basic values of decency and respect, knowing this project is bigger than yourself”.

He said his friend “could not stand the abuse of power wherever he saw it, in whatever form, in whatever country”.

The McCain family follows as military bearers carry the senator's casket out of the church in Phoenix  Joe Biden wipes a tear as he pays tribute to ‘brother’ John McCain skynews john mccain phoenix 4406211
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The McCain family follows as military bearers carry the senator’s casket out of the church in Phoenix

Dabbing his eyes, Mr Biden also spoke about his own son’s death from cancer, saying: “It’s brutal, it’s relentless, it’s unforgiving.”

Speaking to Mr McCain’s wife Cindy, he said: “You were his ballast.”

Thursday’s service ended two days of mourning for the six-term senator in his home state.

Afterwards his body was taken in a motorcade to the airport where it was put on a military aircraft to fly east.



Joe Biden wipes a tear as he pays tribute to ‘brother’ John McCain 8e55c05f5bc2ab3abdcbabcc02d865c1154a67a83472d3793df96f85074f237e 4182696




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A service at the Washington National Cathedral will be held on Saturday before he is buried at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, on Sunday.

On Wednesday, a private service was held in Phoenix, Arizona, for family and friends.



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