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McCain to lie in state at Capitol

Matt York/AP Photo

Updated

Sen. John McCain, who died Saturday, will lie in state at the U.S. Capitol Rotunda, congressional leaders said Sunday.

A ceremony at the Capitol will take place on Friday, Aug. 31, according to a schedule of events made public by McCain’s family and promoted by his Senate office website.

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“The nation mourns the loss of a great American patriot, a statesman who put his country first and enriched this institution through many years of service. The Senate is keeping Cindy [McCain], the McCain family, all John’s friends and staff, and the people of Arizona in our prayers at this tremendously difficult time,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said in the statement.

“I appreciate my colleagues and the entire Senate and House family’s assistance with this honor,” McConnell added.

Only 31 Americans have lain in state or in honor in the Capitol Rotunda since the structure was completed in 1824, not including unknown soldiers of World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War who have been recognized.

Most recently, evangelist Billy Graham lay in honor from Feb. 28 to March 1.

“It’s hard to imagine a person more worthy of the honor, and I’m pleased that Americans will have the opportunity to pay their respects to this hero and statesman,” House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said of McCain, an Arizona Republican, in a tweet.

Visitors will be able to pay their respects from 2-8 p.m., following the 10 a.m. ceremony in the Rotunda honoring McCain’s life.

The tribute is the most recent parliamentary honor by McCain’s colleagues in the hours after he died of brain cancer Saturday evening. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said he would introduce a resolution to rename the Russell Senate Office Building in McCain’s memory “so that generations remember him,” the New York Democrat said in a tweet.

Prior to McCain’s commemoration in the U.S. Capitol, he will also lie in state at the Arizona State Capitol on Wednesday, Aug. 29, including a six-hour viewing after a private ceremony in the state capitol’s Rotunda.

Another memorial service will be held the next morning at North Phoenix Baptist Church.

A national memorial service at Washington National Cathedral will take place on Saturday, Sept. 1, followed by a private memorial service the next day in the U.S. Naval Academy Chapel in Annapolis, Maryland.

McCain will be buried Sunday at the U.S. Naval Academy Cemetery next to Admiral Chuck Larson, “his Naval Academy classmate and lifelong friend,” according to the schedule promoted by his Senate office.

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