The late U.S. Sen. John McCain will lie in state Wednesday in the copper-domed rotunda at the old state Capitol building.

The first of a series of memorials and tributes commemorating his life was a private ceremony that started at 10 a.m. Speakers included Gov. Doug Ducey and former U.S. Sen. Jon Kyl. U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake offered a benediction, and former U.S. Rep. Jim Kolbe presented a wreath.

Members of the public are invited to pay their respects during a public viewing.  The Capitol will stay open until everyone in line has had a chance to participate.

No cameras or photography will be allowed inside the building. No guns will be allowed; storage lockers will be available. Small bags will be permitted inside. Everyone must undergo a security screening.

4:25 p.m. 14 treated for heat-related issues

As Wednesday’s temperature reached over 100 degrees, some people waiting in line had trouble battling the heat.

The Phoenix Fire Department had received 14 calls for heat-related emergencies as of 4:15 p.m., Captain Larry Subervi said.

No one had been taken to the hospital, he said.

— Angela Forburger


Antonio Chavez of Phoenix, talks about Sen. John McCain. Chavez is a U.S. Army veteran of the Vietnam War and saluted McCain at the public viewing.
David Wallace, Arizona Republic

3:45 p.m.: Lines growing longer at Arizona Capital

The line is now more than 1,800 people long with an estimated three-hour or more wait. The “Line Starts Here” man has been consistently moving farther back since the doors opened around 1 p.m. The “Line Starts Here” sign used to be mounted, but he had to tear it off to make room for more people. 

Outside the Arizona Capitol, someone also left birthday balloons for Sen. John McCain, who would have turned 82 on Wednesday. 

— Grace Palmieri


Aerial view of people in line at the Arizona State Capitol to pay respect to Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who died Aug. 25.
Arizona Republic

3 p.m. Line still more than 1,000 long to pay respects to Sen. John McCain

As of 3 p.m., there was a line of about 1,100 people outside the Arizona Capitol. Workers had set up additional shade tents to shield visitors from the triple-degree temperatures. Volunteers handed out ice water. 

Diane Gonzalez, 68, was one of those treated for heat-related symptoms earlier this afternoon as she waited in line to honor the senator.

“We have a lot of respect for him. We’ve tried to stay as long as we can.”

Arizona Department of Public Safety is reminding people who come out to the Arizona State Capitol to use umbrellas and drink plenty of fluids. 


Over a 1,000 people are waiting in line to pay their respects to Sen. McCain. Tents are set up and ice water is handed out by several volunteers.
Bayan Wang, The Republic |

2:30 p.m.: A solemn moment

After passing through security and signing their name — a staffer said the loose pages will be bound into a guest book and given to the McCain family — red-faced visitors walked into a wall of cold air at the Arizona Capitol. 

A wreath of red roses waited just behind the door to the Capitol rotunda. Black curtains blocked every hallway. 

In the center, atop the state seal and below the Arizona Capitol’s copper dome, sat Sen. John McCain’s body. An American flag was draped over the casket. An Arizona Department of Public Safety trooper stood watch at either end.

An endless line led people to the back of the room, where they broke from the crowd to face McCain alone. Some people bowed. Others crossed their hearts and whispered a prayer.

But most simply stood in silence, as if unsure how to say goodbye to a man they had never actually met. 

—Alden Wood


Marguerite Bousley stood in line with hundreds of people at the Arizona state Capitol to pay their respects to Sen. John McCain on Aug. 29, 2018.
Grace Palmieri, The Republic |

2:20 p.m.: Visitor paying respects hopes children can learn from McCain

Standing in line with her two small children and her husband, Adrienne McCauley-MacInnes, wanted to pay her respects to Sen. John McCain.

The family from Crystal Lake, Illinois, came to the Valley for a family wedding.

“We are feeling sad like everyone else,” she said.

She said she hopes her children gain lessons from McCain: how to treat others, the importance of listening and to have a sense of humor.

—Lauren Castle

2:07 p.m.: DPS reminds people they can park at State Fairgrounds

The Arizona Department of Public Safety is reminding people that parking and shuttle services to the Arizona Capitol is available at the Arizona State Fairgrounds, 1826 W. McDowell Road.

Buses are transporting guests now, department officials said. 

1:40 p.m.: Vietnamese community travels from Southern California

More than 100 people from the Vietnamese community in Southern California traveled to the Arizona Capitol on Wednesday to pay their respects to the late senator. Some of them fought in the Vietnam War, representing South Vietnam.

“We love, we respect Sen. McCain so much,” said 60-year-old Andrew Tran. “He’s our hero. He’s one of the best senators we’ve had.” 

—Bayan Wang

1:30 p.m.: More than 1,000 turn out to see Sen. John McCain 


Linda Gordon, who was the first in line to see Sen. John McCain lying in state at the Arizona state Capitol, talks about the senator’s legacy.
David Wallace, Arizona Republic

The viewing for Sen. John McCain opened an hour earlier than scheduled, around 1 p.m.

Around 1:30 p.m., there were about 1,430 people in the line. 

As they waited in line to see Sen. John McCain, people traded stories of the trips they had made to be here. They came from Mesa and Glendale, Tucson and Peach Springs, New Mexico and California — all to see the senator. 

“A guy like that, you say, ‘OK, what do you do?’” said Mike Foley, who flew in from San Diego this morning. His flight landed at 8 a.m., and Foley was in line twenty minutes later.

MONTINI: John McCain eulogized himself when he eulogized Barry Goldwater

After he heard of McCain’s death, Foley wrote letters to Republican senators, urging John Kasich and Lindsey Graham to act more like McCain. He saw McCain as a holdout of his fading Republican Party, the one whose recent choices forced Foley to take a “temporary vacancy.”

Then, he didn’t know what else to do. So he boarded a plane, made the hour-long flight to Phoenix, and practiced what he was going to tell McCain. 

With two hours still to go, Foley had decided on only two things: “Thank you,” and, “Why did you pick Sarah?” he said, referring to McCain’s controversial pick of Sarah Palin as vice president. 

—Alden Woods

12:45 p.m.: Line forms to see Sen. John McCain as he lies in state

A few hours before the public viewing for Sen. John McCain begins at the Arizona Capitol, the line of people who want to pay their respects already stretched from 17th  and Jefferson avenues to near Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza. Nearly 500 people are in line. 

Bring water and patience if you are planning to go to the viewing, which begins at 2 p.m. The temperature is expected to be 104 degrees this afternoon. 

The Capitol will stay open until everyone in line has had a chance to participate.

11:15 a.m.: Crowd already gathering for viewing at 2 p.m.

About 50 people watched the late senator’s private memorial service on a giant video board set up outside the Arizona Capitol. 

They stood underneath white tents and passed around bottles of water, already sweating in the August heat. 

Alex Hurtado, 20, stood at the front of the line. He had been there since 9:40 am, skipping class and calling off work to finally meet the man he had long admired. 

“It’s unfortunate we didn’t get more time with him,” Hurtado said.

His attempt to schedule a meeting with the senator on a trip to Washington, D.C., never panned out. But he took pride in the single vote he was able to cast for McCain, back in the 2016 election. 

“It meant a lot,” he said. “I knew what he represented.” 

—Alden Woods 


The first of a series of memorials commemorating his life was a private ceremony at the Arizona state Capitol on Aug. 29, 2018.
Associated Press

10:15 a.m.: Gov. Ducey said McCain demonstrated ‘country first’

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey lauded John McCain, saying the late senator called upon Americans to serve a purpose that was greater than than themselves. 

“His talk of ‘country first’ wasn’t simply a slogan on a yard sign,” Ducey said. “It was what John McCain had done and demonstrated over, and over and over again.”

Ducey praised McCain as a man who urged Americans to rise above their political differences and said he had become as intertwined in Arizona’s image to the world as the Grand Canyon. 

MORE: John McCain’s seven children attend Arizona memorial

Throughout the ceremony, daughter Meghan McCain sobbed next to her brothers, at times physically shaking from emotion.

After the service, which concluded around 10:25 a.m., McCain’s family approached his flag-draped casket one by one to say their goodbyes. 

Cindy McCain kissed and touched his casket. A tearful Meghan McCain could scarcely steel herself against the casket before departing the Rotunda.

Ducey and his wife, Angela, later bowed before him, as well.

—Ronald J. Hansen and Yvonne Wingett Sanchez 

10:10 a.m.: Memorial service begins with tributes


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Former Sen. Jon Kyl opened his tribute by talking about how Sen. John McCain believed in the country’s people, its values and its institutions. His greatest contribution, he said, was to American national security.  

McCain had a keen eye for American interests and could spot dangerous adversaries from a mile away, Kyl said. 

ALSO: McCain remembered at state Capitol ceremony

Kyl, a fellow Republican, traveled with McCain around the world and said the late senator, “had better instincts about how and when and where to assert American power than any other leader I’ve known. 

“He represented our values,” Kyl said, “America is stronger for his fierce defense of its values.” 

Former Govs. Fife Symington, Janet Napolitano and Jan Brewer attended the service, along with House Speaker J.D. Mesnard and Senate President Steve Yarbrough, the current leaders of the Legislature. 


Senator John McCain arrives to lie in state at the Arizona State Capitol. Thousands are expected to pay their respects to the late Senator.
Arizona Republic

10:00 a.m.: Motorcade accompanying Sen. McCain arrives at Arizona Capitol

The senator’s wife, Cindy, and sons Jack and Jim are greeted and hugged by Gov. Doug Ducey and his wife, Angela Ducey at the state Capitol on what would have been John McCain’s 82nd birthday. 

McCain’s casket is draped in an American Flag.  Arizona veterans, military, law enforcement, fire and first responders are lining the sides of the Capitol Plaza for the procession.

9:45 a.m.: Motorcade accompanying Sen. John McCain departs

The motorcade accompanying Sen. John McCain’s body is departing from the A.L. Moore-Grimshaw Mortuaries Bethany Chapel for the Arizona Capitol, where the first of memorial service honoring the senator will begin at 10 a.m.

 Traffic is being stopped in both directions. 

7 a.m.: Parking, street closures, transit

A map with authorized parking locations and restricted areas is available online.

Parking is also available at the state fairgrounds, 1826 W. McDowell Road, where shuttle buses will be transporting people to and from the capitol starting at noon.

Jefferson and Adams streets between 15th and 19th avenues will be closed from 5 a.m. until about 11 p.m.

DASH and RAPID/Express bus services will be detoured around street closures near the Capitol.

Bright green signs will be posted at bus stops directing passengers to the closest pickup. Check for updated information.

 Temperatures are expected to reach 104 degrees this afternoon, so people who are attending are encouraged to bring water. 

Arizona Republic reporters Alden Woods, Bayan Wang, Lauren Castle, Nathan Fish, Ronald J. Hansen,Yvonne Wingett Sanchez and Anne Ryman contributed to this story. 


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