The body of John McCain, who endured 5 1/2 years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam and went on to become a lion of the U.S. Senate and a two-time Republican candidate for president, will lie in state on Wednesday in the Arizona state capitol.
The daylong public viewing of his casket was due to kick off five days of memorial tributes in Phoenix and Washington for McCain, who died on Saturday at his ranch in Cornville, Arizona, from brain cancer. He was 81.
Wednesday’s observance was to open with a private ceremony inside the Rotunda of the Arizona statehouse, after which members of the public were invited to pay their respects from 2 p.m. until 8 p.m. local time.
McCain is only the third individual so honored in Arizona’s state capitol over the past 40 years, organizers of the ceremony said. The two others were state Senator Marilyn Jarrett in 2006 and Olympic gold medalist Jesse Owens, a Tucson resident, in 1980.
A memorial service, to be attended by family, friends, political leaders and other dignitaries, is scheduled for Thursday at the North Phoenix Baptist Church. McCain’s body will be flown afterward to Andrews Air Force Base outside Washington.
His body will then lie in state on Friday at the U.S. capitol for another memorial ceremony and public viewing, to be followed on Saturday by a funeral service at the Washington National Cathedral.
McCain, who parlayed his status as a Vietnam War hero into a decades-long political career, served two terms in the U.S. House of Representatives before he was elected to the Senate in 1986.
His family has said that the senator, who frequently battled publicly with U.S. President Donald Trump, did not want the president to attend his funeral.
On Sunday, McCain is to be buried in a private ceremony at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, where he graduated as a U.S. Navy officer in 1958 before going on to become a fighter pilot.
McCain, the son and grandson of Navy admirals, will be laid to rest beside his Naval Academy classmate and lifelong friend, the late Admiral Chuck Larson, organizers said.
The memorial tributes followed a few days of confusion at the White House over whether American flags at U.S. government buildings would be flown at half-staff, in the traditional gesture for prominent political figures who die.
The White House initially lowered its U.S. flag to half-staff on Saturday, raised it back up, and on Monday lowered it again in an unusual break with protocol.
Trump also delayed the customary proclamation for flags to remain at half-staff longer than the two-day minimum. But under pressure from military veterans and members of Congress, Trump finally issued a statement on Monday saying he respected McCain’s service to the country and had ordered flags to half-staff.
Writing and additional reporting by Steve Gorman in Los Angeles; Editing by Michael Perry
Internet rains hell on ‘fake Christian’ Karen Pence’s new Twitter account: ‘I can’t wait for the rapture’
The Internet reacted with scorn over the weekend after Second Lady Karen Pence announced a new Twitter account aimed at reelecting President Donald Trump.
In her first tweet, Pence posted a video lavishing praise on the president.
"There are probably a lot of things you don't know about me," Pence says in the video. "For example, I enjoy painting, I love to ride my bike and I like nothing better than reading a good book. On my new Twitter account, I will share what I'm up to when I'm not in the office at the White House."
Excited to start a new #Twitter account to help tell the story of all the accomplishments under the leadership of @realDonaldTrump and @mike_pence! Follow along to KEEP AMERICA GREAT! 🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/RaPwC5ThyR
Final Emmys beckon for TV stars of ‘Thrones’ and ‘Veep’
TV stars from Westeros to the White House will hit the red carpet in Los Angeles on Sunday as "Game of Thrones" and "Veep" take their final tilts at Emmys glory.
The long-running HBO smash hits helped the premium cable network raise the game for the small screen -- with 74 Emmys between them, they are among the most decorated shows ever at television's answer to the Oscars.
Both hope to add to their record hauls before they bow out at the glittering ceremony in downtown LA's Microsoft Theater.
While the divisive final season of "Thrones" enraged many fans, it is the Television Academy's 24,000-plus voters who get to choose the winners.
WATCH: Trump admits he talked to Ukraine president about Joe Biden and his son
President Donald Trump Sunday morning admitted he brought up Joe Biden and the former Vice President’s son Hunter Biden while speaking with the President of Ukraine.
“The conversation I had was largely congratulatory, with largely corruption, all of the corruption taking place and largely the fact that we don’t want our people like Vice President Biden and his son creating to the corruption,” Trump said, speaking to reporters from the White House lawn.
BREAKING: President Trump admits that he talked to the Ukrainian president about former Vice President Biden. #MTP #IfItsSunday@kristenwelker: "From the president's perspective, the only way to put this story to bed is to release the transcript." pic.twitter.com/aaJ6DjMN0E