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"John McCain was Arizona", he said. The ceremony marked the start of five days of tributes in Phoenix and Washington for McCain, who would have turned 82 on Wednesday.

McCain was a stalwart ally of Israel.

A private ceremony was held Wednesday morning at the Arizona State Capitol Museum rotunda, where McCain will lie in state.

McCain, who died on Saturday, is expected to taken by military transport to an air base outside Washington - just as Trump is holding a rally in IN on Thursday.

Le was a child in the aftermath of the Vietnam War and only vaguely knew of stories about the famous American, captured by communists, who "loved his friends and refused to be released" until they were.

McCain took office in Arizona in the early 80's, first as a congressman, then as a senator.

"Some have disagreed with some of Senator McCain's votes on policy positions, but that should not diminish our gratitude for his service", said Kyl.

The president should know a withdrawal from the nearly 17-year-old war would "blow up" in his face, said Graham, who spoke to reporters about McCain following an emotional floor speech on the Arizona Republican's death. John McCain will be missed.

After his death, Meghan released a statement, which reads in part: "All that I am is thanks to him".

Trump’s White House Fails to Keep Flag at Half-staff to Honor McCain
The contrast offered the latest reminder of the animosity that Trump has maintained for McCain, even after his passing. And Mr Trump himself issued flag flying proclamations following mass shootings in Las Vegas and Parkland, Florida.

- Thousands of admirers of the late Senator John McCain stood in line for hours on Wednesday in the blazing Arizona sun and triple-digit heat for a chance to pay final respects to the war hero and two-time Republican presidential candidate.

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) smiles to the crowd before he is awarded the 2017 Liberty Medal by former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden (unseen) at the Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S., October 16, 2017.

Mourners were already lined up as a special ceremony took place inside the capitol featuring heartfelt remarks from Gov. Doug Ducey, Sen.

"When John McCain called on us to serve a objective greater than one's own self-interest, it wasn't a talking point created to win the next election", Ducey said.

The viewing later in the day will go on as long as people are waiting in line, said Rick Davis, McCain's former presidential campaign manager.

People carrying campaign style placards with the word "McCain" and holding US flags lined part of the part of the 8-mile (13-kilometer) route the motorcade was taking Thursday to the North Phoenix Baptist Church.

For some Arizona residents, McCain has been a political fixture their entire lives. "Fight back", Graham said.

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

Vice President Joe Biden, sitting and former USA senators and other dignitaries from Arizona will be at the church to honor McCain.