Meghan McCain delivered a bold, loving and pointed eulogy for her father, Sen. John McCain, at the National Cathedral in Washington Saturday.
Praising the work and life of her father, McCain also contrasted the military veteran with President Donald Trump, who has been critical of Sen. McCain in the past.
“The America of John McCain is generous and welcoming and bold,” she said. “She is resourceful and confident and secure. She meets her responsibilities, She speaks quietly because she is strong. America does not boast because she has no need to. The America of John McCain has no need to be great again because America was always great.
“We live in an era where we knock down old American heroes for all their imperfections. When no leader wants to admit to fault or failure.”
Former presidents George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Bill Clinton were among those in attendance, as well as former first ladies Michelle Obama and Laura Bush and former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. People reported that Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, and her husband Jared Kushner, were also at the service.
The New York Times reported that Trump was heading to Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Virginia, at the time of the funeral.
Despite some references to Trump, McCain kept most of the focus on the reason for the event: her father.
“You were an exception, and you gave us an ideal to strive for. Look, I know you can see this gathering here in this cathedral. The nation is here to remember you.”
People reported that McCain got particularly emotional thinking of how her father would carry her to bed and when he cared for her when she skinned her knee as a child.
“I am feeling loss I have never wanted to feel. My father is gone,” McCain said. “This love my father had for my mother was the most fierce and lasting of them all. …. He was endlessly present for us. And though we did not always understand it, he was always teaching. He didn’t expect us to be like him. His ambitions for us was to be better than him. As a girl I did not fully appreciate what I fully appreciate now: how he suffered, and how he wore it with this stoic silence that was once the mark of an American man.
“Dad, I love you. I always have. All that I am, all that I hope, all that I dream is grounded in what you taught me. You loved me and you showed me what love must be. Your greatness is woven into my life. It is woven into my mother’s life. It is woven into my sister’s life. It is woven into my brothers’ lives. It is woven into the life and liberty of the country you sacrificed so much to defend.”
Sen. McCain will be buried at the United States Naval Academy Cemetery in Annapolis, Maryland, after a private ceremony Sunday.