Senator John McCain laid to rest at U.S. Naval Academy Chapel in Annapolis
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - A private burial service was held at the U.S. Naval Academy Chapel in Annapolis on Sunday as Sen. John McCain was laid to rest.
A private memorial service at the academy's chapel followed by a procession to the burial site was to mark the farewell Sunday to a man who lived a very public life. Invited along with family and friends were members of McCain's Class of 1958, military leaders and Brigade of Midshipmen.
About 4 p.m. a flyover of military aircraft honored the Navy pilot who was shot down over Vietnam and held more than five years as a prisoner of war.
One scheduled speaker at the service, Sen. Lindsey Graham, said before the service that he would tell the audience that "nobody loved a soldier more than John McCain, that I bear witness to his commitment to have their back, travel where they go, never let them be forgotten."
Retired general and former CIA director, David Petraeus, and McCain's son Jack were also expected to pay tribute.
As the hearse carrying McCain passed through a gate and into the academy, there was loud applause from the several hundred people lining the street outside on the hot and muggy summer day. Many held their hands over their hearts and waved American flags. Some shouted, "God bless you."
People in the crowd held signs that read "Senator John McCain Thanks For Serving! Godspeed" and "Rest In Peace Maverick."
Among the pallbearers on a list provided by McCain's office were Frank Gamboa, his academy roommate; Defense Secretary Jim Mattis; and two men who were POWs with McCain in Vietnam, John Fer and Everett Alvarez Jr.
The six-term Senator and two-time Republican candidate for president was buried next to his Naval Academy classmate and lifelong friend, Admiral Chuck Larson, who passed away in 2014.
Before his passing, Larson reserved four plots of land - for him, McCain and their spouses - near where they first met, at the Naval Academy's cemetery at Hospital Point, overlooking the Severn River.
McCain was the son and grandson of admirals and followed them to the Naval Academy. A pilot, he was shot down over Vietnam and held as a prisoner of war for more than five years. He went on to win a seat in the House and in 1986, the Senate, where he served for the rest of his life.
A remembrance service was held for the decorated Vietnam War veteran at the Washington National Cathedral on Saturday. Former presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush spoke on the late senator's behalf.
The day before, McCain was honored at the U.S. Capitol Rotunda where members of Congress and the public came to pay their respect. Thousands of Americans lined up outside the U.S. Capitol in stifling heat to say a final goodbye as he lay in state.
On Wednesday, McCain laid in state at the Arizona Capitol Rotunda, the state in which he and his wife Cindy raised their family.
McCain's family asked before his death that President Donald Trump, who the senator had long feuded with, not attend his funeral services. Vice President Mike Pence was expected to attend, according to officials.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.