John McCain’s coffin reaches Washington DC for 3-day tribute

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Washington, Aug 31 (IANS) The coffin of US Republican Senator John McCain, who died on August 25 at the age of 81, arrived here on Thursday for three tribute-filled days, including his burial at a private service on Sunday.

The plane carrying McCain’s body landed shortly before 8 p.m. on Thursday at Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland, outside of Washington DC, Efe news reported.

On Friday, a ceremony will be held at the US Capitol building, an honour that only around 30 people — and barely another 12 legislators — have so far received in the history of the country.

On Saturday, the funeral will take place at the Washington National Cathedral, which will be broadcast live on the Internet and on television, and will be attended by the former Presidents Barack Obama (2009-2017) and George W. Bush (2001-2009).

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Both politicians snatched the presidency from McCain — Obama in the 2008 election and Bush in the 2000 Republican primary — but they forged a relationship of deep respect with the veteran politician and former US Navy captain.

The funeral will not be attended by current US President Donald Trump, who had a tense relationship with McCain, because the senator’s family did not want to invite him.

On Sunday, McCain will be buried in a private service at the US Naval Academy Cemetery and Columbarium, in the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, where the senator began his military career.

The display of tributes to McCain is one of the most notable for an American politician who was not a president.

McCain represented Arizona for more than three decades in the US Congress.

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