Tomorrow, the late Sen. John Sidney McCain III will lie in state in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda. Members of the public and the U.S. government will be able to pay their respects. Sen. McCain dedicated his life to serving our country. Upon news of his passing, Speaker Ryan said, “John McCain was a giant of our time—not just for the things he achieved, but for who he was and what he fought for all his life…He will always be listed among freedom’s most gallant and faithful servants.”
A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Sen. McCain served as a Naval aviator for 22 years. He spent five years as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam’s “Hanoi Hilton” and amassed service honors including the Silver Star, Bronze Star, Legion of Merit, Purple Heart, and the Distinguished Flying Cross. Upon his retirement from the Navy, Sen. McCain served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1983-1987 representing the First District of Arizona. In 1986, he was elected to the U.S. Senate, serving as Chairman of the Armed Services Committee at the time of his passing. Sen. McCain was the Republican party’s 2008 nominee for president.
Lying in state at the U.S. Capitol is a rare honor by which Congress, and the country, pay tribute to the most distinguished Americans. Traditionally reserved for military officers or elected public officials, 26 individuals have lain in state, in addition to three instances where Congress honored the unknown soldiers of World War I, World War II and the Korean War, and of the Vietnam Era. Senator Daniel Inouye of Hawaii was the last person lain in state following his passing in 2012.
Authorized by congressional leadership, Sen. McCain’s casket will arrive at the Capitol tomorrow, August 31. The Capitol service, which will include remarks and the laying of wreaths by the vice president and congressional leadership, will begin at 11:00 a.m. ET. Starting at 1:00 p.m., the Rotunda will be open to the public. The Capitol service and public viewing will be streamed on speaker.gov/live.