The body of the late Senator John McCain arrived at the Arizona state capitol building in Phoenix on Wednesday, where he will lie in state until Thursday.
His flag-draped coffin was taken by honor guard into the capitol building on what would have been his 82nd birthday.
Cindy McCain, in her first public appearance since her husband’s death, accompanied his body as did the couple’s children.
Cindy McCain, Jack McCain, Jimmy McCain, Meghan McCain and Bridget McCain at the state Capitol building
Jack McCain salutes his father
John McCain’s body was taken by honor guard into the Capitol
She was escorted by the couple’s son Jack, in his white Navy dress uniform, who is home from Afghanistan for his father’s funeral, and their son Jimmy, in his Navy dres uniform.
Jack saluted his father’s coffin.
Meghan McCain was visibly sobbing and holding on to her brother Jimmy.
Cindy McCain is escorted by sons Jimmy, on left, and Jack, on right
McCain’s body will lie in state until Thursday
Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, a longtime friend of the family, said on Tuesday that Cindy McCain is putting one foot in front of another as she prepares for five days of memorials before the late senator is buried at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., on Sunday.
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey and his wife Angela greeted the McCain family.
He recalled a lunch the couple had with the McCains.
‘He said ‘my biggest challenge is whether or not to run for re-election in 2022.’ Dying as has been observed 50 years earlier, was not in his plan,’ Ducey said in a ceremony at the Capitol.
‘Imagining Arizona without John McCain is like imaging Arizona without the Grand Canyon. It’s just not possible,’ he noted.
He concluded with praise for Cindy McCain: ‘You are a model for us and an inspiration. Arizona loves you Cindy McCain.’
Sen. Jeff Flake read the benediction at the ceremony while Rep. Jim Kolbe presented a wreath.
‘Let these tears bring blooms in the desert he loved, in the country he served,’ said Father Edward Reese.
Former Sen. Jon Kyl said the state should be proud of its senator.
‘We can be proud he was our Senator. I consider it a privilege to have served with John and I will miss him as a friend and as a strong force for America in the world,’ Kyl said.
At the ceremony’s conclusion, Cindy McCain lead the mourners in paying tribute to her husband. She walked to his coffin and placed her cheek on it before patting the flag and walking away.
McCain died Saturday at the age of 81 after a long battle with brain cancer.