Video: John McCain Lies In State At Arizona State Capitol

PHOENIX, AZ — Former Sen. Jon Kyl praised his late longtime friend John McCain at a solemn private ceremony Wednesday morning at the Arizona State Capitol in Phoenix. U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake gave a benediction at the Rotunda, where McCain is lying in state on what would’ve been his 82nd birthday. Thousands are expected to pay their respects and a church service is also planned before McCain’s body is moved to Washington D.C.

McCain died Saturday after a battle with an aggressive form of brain cancer. He was 81. A private ceremony was held at 10 a.m. PST inside the Rotunda to honor McCain’s life and service to the state and country.

The public can pay their respects from 2-8 p.m. Cameras and photography are banned inside the building. Guns are also not be permitted, though storage lockers will be available. Memorial guests can park at the State Fairgrounds and take a bus to the Capitol. Buses will begin transporting guests around noon.

You can watch a replay of the service above thanks to The Washington Post.

Kyl opened the ceremony saying McCain believed in America, its people its values and its institutions. McCain came to this realization when he was a POW in Vietnam.

“I fell in love with my country when I was a prisoner in someone else’s,” McCain said, according to Kyl.

McCain fought to protect America’s values and institutions, Kyl said, including rein in excess campaign expenditures and congressional earmarks, which he viewed as corrupting. He also insisted battlefield detainees be treated in line with American law.

Kyl praised McCain’s instincts and grasp of history, which he said was even better than many secretaries of state. Kyl added that McCain’s greatest contributions was to America’s national security.

Gov. Ducey spoke next and recounted McCain’s time as a POW. Ducey said McCain’s talk of “country first” wasn’t simply a campaign slogan on a yard sign.

“It was what John McCain had done and demonstrated over and over and over again in the Navy through Vietnam and all the way to his favorite battles on the floor of the United States Senate,” said Ducey.

Ducey said McCain “fought like hell” for causes he believed in and did it with humor and humanity, never compromising his ideals. He said McCain was about more than politics.

“He brought us above politics,” said Ducey.

McCain moved to Arizona at 45 years old but became the state’s favorite adopted son. Arizona “enchanted and claimed” McCain, the late senator said, according to Ducey.

“Imagining Arizona without John McCain is like picturing Arizona without the Grand Canyon,” he said.

The following streets are closed:

DASH and RAPID/Express bus services will take alternative routes near the Capitol. Green signs will be posted at bus stops directing passengers to the closest pickup.

Photo credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

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