Joe Biden remembers John McCain as a brother during Arizona memorial service

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They had come from Mesa, Arizona, for the service, and moved from Vietnam a year ago. "That's when it changed", Biden said.

Pence said he didn't always agree with McCain, but said McCain's support for limited government, tax reform and the military "surely left our nation more prosperous and more secure".

Ducey said John McCain was about more than politics, he "brought us above politics".

A digest of the top political stories from the Globe, sent to your inbox Monday-Friday. At McCain's request, two former presidents - Democrat Barack Obama and Republican George W. Bush - will speak.

One day, though, Biden said, McCain and Biden were each approached separately by leaders of their respective caucuses, who told them to stop sitting with each other because "it didn't look good".

Mr Fitzgerald claimed: "What made Senator McCain so special was that he cared about the substance of my heart rather than where I came from".

Fitzgerald also discussed his need to visit Vietnam to see what McCain endured. He ran for president, I run out of bounds. He said it was the ideal example of what made him an iconic figure of politics and to the fellow man. Tony Espinoza, a prominent Arizonan Latino leader, recalled McCain's love of "Mexican culture".

Thursday, Senator John McCain is spending his final morning inside the capitol, before his procession to North Phoenix Baptist Church for the continuation of his memorial services. Biden said their close personal bond abided even when the senator from DE was chosen as the running mate for McCain's Democratic rival in the 2008 presidential race, Barack Obama, who defeated McCain.

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.

A few firefighters saluted from atop a fire engine parked on an overpass when the 11-vehicle motorcade with a 17-motorcycle police escort passed underneath on Interstate 17.

A man with a white beard stood on one corner holding a sign saying "Senator John McCain: Because character counts". John McCain, who died of brain cancer last Saturday at 81.

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Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) touches the Lincoln catafalque prior to the casket of Sen.

John McCain at his memorial service on Capitol Hill.

Family and friends gathered there Wednesday for a private service, where Cindy McCain pressed her face against her husband's coffin.

Michael Fellars was among those awaiting the motorcade outside the church Thursday.

"There are times when life can be so cruel, pain so blinding, it's hard to see anything else", Biden said, adding, "In order to survive, we have to remember how they lived, not how they died".

A choir from the Jesuit-run Brophy College Preparatory school that two of McCain's sons attended sang "Amazing Grace".

His longtime chief of staff Grant Woods drew laughs with a eulogy in which he talked about McCain's "terribly bad driving" and his sense of humour.

The recessional music will be Frank Sinatra's signature song, "My Way", paying tribute to a man who became known for following his own path based on his personal principles. Wednesday would have been his 82nd birthday.

The Capitol was then opened to the public in the afternoon, allowing visitors to walk past the closed casket after waiting in line outside in temperatures that reached 104 degrees (40 Celsius).

The onetime Navy fighter pilot endured 5-1/2 years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam after his aircraft was shot down over Hanoi.