U.S. Sen. John McCain died Saturday at age 81 following a 13-month battle with a deadly form of brain cancer.  

His death, announced by his office, came the day after his family announced he was ending medical treatment on Friday.

Follow our live coverage here with updates on funeral plans, reaction and more:  

9 p.m.: Vietnamese community honors McCain

Sunday was marked by memorials across Arizona, including a sunset vigil organized by the Vietnamese Community of Arizona.

Several dozen attendees gathered outside of McCain’s Phoenix office and sang both the U.S. and the Vietnamese national anthems. Leaders in the Vietnamese-American and Taiwanese-American communities then held a moment of silence in McCain’s honor, later remembering the U.S. senator as compassionate and always willing to support events in their communities. 

As the vigil ended, Kevin Dang, a Vietnamese community leader, played a song he said reminded him of McCain, and one he believed the senator was a fan of: “God Bless the U.S.A.”

Also Sunday, the U.S. Embassy and Consulate General in Vietnam mourned the passing of McCain and commended his dedication to a peaceful relationship between the two countries. 

“For decades, he championed the U.S.-Vietnam relationship, bravely forging a path for our two nations to transform from enemies to partners,” the Facebook post said. “He will be sorely missed.”

The embassy also announced a new fellowship in McCain’s honor. 

1 p.m.: Funeral details announced

McCain’s website said a private ceremony is scheduled for 10 a.m. Wednesday at the Arizona Capitol, 1700 W. Washington St. A public viewing will be 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday.

McCain’s funeral has been scheduled for 10 a.m. Thursday at North Phoenix Baptist Church, 5757 N Central Ave. Limited public seating will be available, with tickets made available through the johnmccain.com web site.

McCain’s body then will be flown to the Joint Base Andrews military facility in Maryland before lying in state Friday at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., a rare honor bestowed on only 31 people in 166 years.

He will then be transported from the U.S. Capitol to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial ahead of a second funeral at the Washington National Cathedral on Saturday at 10 a.m. 

The private service will be limited to family, friends, congressional colleagues and staff, as well as U.S. and international leaders, according to McCain’s website. The event will be livestreamed. 

He will return to his youthful stomping grounds, the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, to be buried at the cemetery there. The date of the private ceremony has not been publicly released.

Additional information initially appeared on johnmccain.com, but later was not available.

10 a.m.: McCain to lie in state at Capitol Wednesday

Sen. John McCain will lie in state at the Arizona Capitol Wednesday, Gov. Doug Ducey said in a tweet Sunday morning.

The date would have been his 82nd birthday.

Ducey described the honor as a “rare and distinct occurrence for a truly special man.”

“John McCain is Arizona, and we will honor his life every way we can,” he wrote. 

Crews were spotted cleaning the exterior of the building early Sunday in preparation for the tribute. Further details were not immediately released.

McCain will also lie in state in Washington, D.C. Church services will be held in both cities ahead of a private burial ceremony in Annapolis, Maryland. 

MORE: Sen. John McCain will lie in state at the Arizona Capitol on Wednesday

9 a.m.: Tributes grow outside of McCain’s Phoenix office

It was quiet in the small courtyard outside of McCain’s Phoenix office Sunday morning.

The four white candles placed by mourners overnight had all blown out, but the bouquets of flowers and handwritten notes were visible reminders of the late senator’s impact.


Matt Walker talks about Sen. John McCain at the makeshift memorial at the A. L. Moore-Grimshaw Mortuary on Aug. 26, 2018, in Phoenix.
Arizona Republic

“Often disagreed, but always respected you,” one person wrote in marker on a large blue poster. “Thank you for your service and leaving our nation better than you found it.”

“Prayers and deep gratitude,” was scrawled in shaky handwriting on a small card tucked into a bouquet of white roses and purple flowers. The buds were already beginning to wilt in the morning heat.

Glendale resident James Bolton struggled to find a place for his own bouquet on the overflowing decorative wall. He settled on an open spot next to the makeshift memorial as he wiped tears from his eyes.

Bolton installed fiber optic cables throughout the complex where McCain’s office was located. He can still picture him exiting the front door of the office building to make the short walk across the courtyard back to his Phoenix condo barely a few hundred feet away.

The lone mourner relit the candles while he paid his respects to the man he credited with making him a better person.

“There’s not many more guys like him left,” Bolton said. “He was just here and now he’s gone. It’s hard to believe.”

8 a.m.: Honor Guard stands watch outside of mortuary

As Arizona woke up to its first day without Sen. John McCain Sunday,18-year-old Aaron Cartland was already standing guard next to a makeshift memorial outside of the A.L. Moore-Grimshaw Mortuary in uptown Phoenix.

It’s barely 8 a.m. and his crisp white shirt is already soaked with sweat, but he will brave the sweltering heat for six hours to pay his respects to the senator. 

The 13 members of the POW/MIA/KIA Honor Guard will stand guard outside of the mortuary around-the-clock until McCain’s body is moved to the capitol. Then, they will do the same there.

They provide the same honor to dozens of veterans each year. But this one is different for Cartland and his mother, Marion Cartland. She had grown to know McCain well while serving at different military events over the years. The McCain’s had always supported her son’s chapter of the U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corp. 

“It’s a state senator who spent nearly 40 years serving this state,” she said. “He had such a passion and commitment to his fellow veterans.” 


Dan Rivera talks about Sen. John McCain at the makeshift memorial at the A. L. Moore-Grimshaw Mortuary on Aug. 26, 2018 in Phoenix.
Mark Henle, The Republic

5 a.m.: Ducey won’t announce McCain’s successor until after funeral

Gov. Doug Ducey will wait to name McCain’s successor until after he has been buried at the U.S. Naval Cemetery in Maryland, an aide to the governor told The Arizona Republic.

“Out of respect for the life and legacy of Sen. John McCain and his family, Governor Ducey will not be making any announcements about an appointment until after the Senator is laid to rest,” Ducey’s senior adviser Daniel Ruiz II said in a statement. 

The date of McCain’s funeral service was still unknown Sunday morning. His body is expected to lay in state in both Phoenix and Washington, D.C. Services in both cities are also expected, but details have not been announced.

It will be the first time an Arizona governor has to fill a Senate seat by appointment in the state’s 106-year history.

There are few requirements when it comes to naming a successor. The appointed replacement must also be a Republican and would serve at least until the 2020 general election.

‘My heart is broken’

Sen. John McCain died at 4:28 p.m. Saturday at his Cornville home, surrounded by loved ones and his wife, Cindy. 

As support and well-wishes poured in from around the world, a procession carried McCain’s body a Phoenix mortuary, where supporters waved flags and remembered the man who was destined to be among the political giants of Arizona history. 

The six-term U.S. senator disclosed in July 2017 that he had been diagnosed with a deadly form of brain cancer called glioblastoma. As the world watched and waited for details about the cancer’s spread, McCain’s family on Friday morning announced he was ending medical treatment.

Less than 36 hours later, he died. 

“My heart is broken,” Cindy McCain wrote on Twitter. “I am so lucky to have lived the adventure of loving this incredible man for 38 years. He passed the way he lived, on his own terms, surrounded by the people he loved, in the place he loved best.”

Chris McCrory contributed reporting.


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