Former presidents, congressional colleagues and family have gathered in Washington to mark the passing of US Senator John McCain with a procession through the capital before an invitation-only funeral service.
McCain, who died on Tuesday just days before his 82nd birthday, was carried from the US Capitol by Armed Forces Body Bearers, before he was transported by a motorcade to Washington National Cathedral.
Eight members of the Armed Forces were seen carrying McCain’s coffin from the Rotunda to a waiting hearse about 8.30am, with one man at the back appearing to direct them.
At one point, the plastic covering protecting the casket from adverse weather blew off McCain and straight on to the head of a soldier. He did not flinch, and continued marching down the stairs until someone was able to take the plastic off him.
The casket then joined a police motorcade, with multiple large black vans at the back.
Crowds were seen lining the street outside and inside the Vietnam Veterans memorial ahead of McCain’s arrival.
The motorcade took McCain and his family to the Memorial ahead of the funeral, where the Senator’s wife, Cindy, laid a wreath to honor those lost in the Vietnam War.
As she, John Kelly and Jim Mattis laid the wreath with the help of US Navy SN Caleb Harrington, McCain’s daughter Meghan appeared visibly distraught at the day’s events.
The motorcade moved on from the memorial to the Washington National Cathedral, where high profile guests were gathering inside for the invitation only service.
While guests were taken inside and seated, McCain’s wife Cindy and his children, Meghan, Bridget, John Sidney, James and Sidney waited out the front for the Senator’s casket.
Military personnel removed the casket from the hearse as the family stood nearby, holding their right hands over their hearts.
A prayer was said over McCain’s coffin before it was carried inside, and the family followed closely behind.
After the McCain’s entered the church, the military officers carried in McCain’s coffin, while the Senator’s 15 pallbearers walked behind it.
The senator’s daughter, Meghan, was the first to speak. The daytime television panelist struggled to hold back tears as she mourned her father in a moving eulogy.
‘I am here before you today saying the words I have never wanted to say, feeling the loss i have never wanted to feel,’ she said. ‘My father is gone.’
‘My father was a great man, a great warrior, a great American. I admire him for all of these things, but I love him because he was a great father.’