The life of Sen. John McCain is being honored in Washington, D.C., Saturday.

Events include a procession past the Vietnam Veterans Memorial followed by an invitation-only service at the Washington National Cathedral for family, friends, congressional colleagues and staff, and U.S. and international leaders.

Follow our live coverage here, with updates on the memorial service:

7:04 a.m.: Memorial services begin at Washington National Cathedral

The serviced for Sen. John McCain has started at the Washington National Cathedral. 

Cindy McCain walked behind the honor guard as they carried her husbands casket down the center aisle of the church. She was followed by his hand-selected pallbearers, including former Vice-President Joe Biden, Michael Bloomberg and actor Warren Beatty.

6:43 a.m.: Sen. McCain’s casket brought into church

The casket of Sen. John McCain was moved into the Washington National Cathedral, where the service was scheduled to begin shortly.

Meghan McCain clutched her mother Cindy’s arm tightly as the family watched  an honor guard of soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines remove McCain’s flag-draped casket from the hearse. 

The Rev. Mariann Edgar Budde, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, led a short prayer on the stairs outside before the casket was moved into the cathedral.

6:25 a.m.: Motorcade reaches Washington National Cathedral

The hearse carrying McCain’s body has reached the Washington National Cathedral, where the service is scheduled to begin at 7 a.m.

McCain’s daughter, Meghan, will deliver the first tribute.

6:10 a.m.: Roberta McCain, Jay Leno arrive at Washington National Cathedral

Mourners, who include comedian Jay Leno, have started to fill up the seats as organ music plays. Also spotted in the audience: former Secretary of State John Kerry, former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, former House Speaker John Boehner, numerous sitting senators (Cory Gardner, Patrick Leahy, Bob Menendez, Ron Wyden) and former senators (Chris Dodd, Jon Kyl). Former Rep. John Shadegg, whose name has been mentioned as a possible McCain successor, is here, too. McCain’s mother, 106-year-old Roberta McCain, has arrived in a wheelchair.

Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump were also in attendance. Sen. Lindsey Graham patted Kushner on the shoulder.

Washington National Cathedral’s capacity is 3,204.

6 a.m.: Motorcade arrives at Vietnam Veterans Memorial

The motorcade carrying McCain’s body to the church stopped at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. 

The McCain family left their vehicles to walk to the memorial. Cindy McCain, accompanied by Secretary of Defense James Mattis and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, stepped forward to place an elaborate wreath next to the memorial, which is  marked with the names of the members of the U.S. armed forces who fought in the war.

She paused before the wreath, silently clasping her hands, before she gave one somber smile. Cindy McCain then returned back to her family. 

The family then made their way back to the motorcade to depart for the memorial service. 


John McCain’s procession has made a stop at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on the way to his service at Washington National Cathedral, and his wife, Cindy, has placed a wreath on the memorial. (Sept. 1)

5:45 a.m.: Motorcade departs for Vietnam Veterans Memorial

McCain’s body left the U.S. Capitol for the final time.

Mourners lined the two-mile route from the Capitol to the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial to honor the late senator, who had been a prisoner of war in Vietnam for 5 1/2 years after his fighter jet had been shot down over Hanoi in 1967.

Some waved small American flags, while others held handwritten signs thanking him for his service. 

5:35 a.m.: Casket loaded into hearse

Eight military pallbearers carried McCain’s casket down the steps of the U.S Capitol to the hearse as his family watched. Meghan, Cindy and Bridget McCain’s hands were placed over their hearts as they watched the casket loaded into the hearse ahead of the memorial service. Jack and Jimmy McCain held a military salute. 

The family then departed for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Meghan McCain was arm-in-arm with her husband, Ben Domenech, as they prepared to leave the Capitol. 

5:30 a.m.: McCain family at the U.S. Capitol

Sen. John McCain’s family has arrived at the U.S. Capitol.

They gathered along the pathway to the Capitol steps to await the arrival of McCain’s casket. 


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5:05 a.m.: Guests arrive for memorial service

Guests began to file into the Washington National Cathedral for McCain’s memorial service two hours before the scheduled start time. 

The invitation-only service will be limited to family, friends, congressional colleagues and staff, as well as U.S. and international leaders, according to McCain’s website. He allegedly handpicked the guest list prior to his death.

5 a.m.: What you need to know

A motorcade will carry McCain’s body from the U.S. Capitol to the Washington National Cathedral starting at 8:30 a.m. Eastern time (5:30 a.m. in Arizona) Saturday. 

On the way, the procession will stop at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Cindy McCain will lay a ceremonial wreath honoring those who died during the Vietnam War. The public is welcome to line the process route along Constitution Avenue to pay their respects. 

Then, the family will continue to the Washington National Cathedral for an invitation-only national memorial service starting at 10 a.m. Eastern time (7 a.m. Arizona time). The event will be livestreamed at

Former Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush are expected to speak. McCain’s daughter, Meghan, will also provide a tribute. Both Sidney and Jimmy McCain will also participate in the service. 


Senator John McCain’s wife and children gently touched his flag-draped casket in the Arizona Capitol, where his body is lying in state.

‘John’s code was ageless’

Sen. John McCain died at 4:28 p.m. Aug. 25 at his Cornville, Arizona, home, surrounded by loved ones, including his wife, Cindy. 

Following his death, McCain lay in state at the Arizona Capitol building on Wednesday before a memorial service in Phoenix on Thursday. His funeral drew 24 members of the U.S. Senate and more than 3,000 others whose lives he touched.

Former Vice President Joe Biden heralded McCain for his commitment to those he served. 

“The truth is John’s code was ageless, is ageless. It wasn’t about politics with John. You could disagree on substance,” Biden added. “It was about the underlying values that animated everything John did.”

His body was transported to Washington, D.C., on Thursday. On Friday, McCain was one of only 31 people to have the honor of lying in state at the U.S. Capitol after a ceremony honoring his life and service. Thousands of mourners passed by his flag-draped coffin to pay their respects. 

McCain will return to the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, to be buried at the cemetery there Sunday after a private funeral. 

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