Metro area reflects on late Sen. McCain's legacy

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The late Sen. John McCain will lie in state this week at the Arizona State Capitol and the U.S. Capitol.

He will be honored Wednesday in Phoenix on what would have been his 82nd birthday. McCain's body then will be flown to Washington, where he will lie in state Friday.

Funeral services for McCain — an Arizona Republican, veteran and former prisoner of war, who served in the U.S. Congress for more than four decades — will take place at the National Cathedral in Annapolis, Maryland, where he will be laid to rest.

McCain died on Saturday, Aug. 25, 2018, after a yearlong battle with brain cancer, but his legacy will endure.

”A legacy of service at both his time in the Navy and then his time in the House and Senate really expands virtually his entire adult life,” Park University Assistant Professor of Political Science Matt Harris said.

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McCain served more than three decades in the U.S. Senate and twice ran for President. He lost both bids, but McCain never stopped serving his country.

“He really had a place in almost every major battle or major issue or major campaign,” Harris said.

McCain made several stops in the Kansas City area during his presidential campaign in 2008.

While McCain was a strong conservative, Harris explains he wasn’t afraid to vote against his party, a rarity in the increasingly partisan atmosphere in Washington.

“John McCain is one of those Senators who may actually transcends that and have a place in American history,” Harris said.

As one of McCain’s last requests, he wanted former Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush to deliver eulogies at his funeral. Both are former political rivals.

“He asked that President Trump not attend his funeral and now he is asking the two previous Presidents to deliver the eulogy,” Harris said.

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McCain’s legacy is most prominent in the military sector, where he advocated for veterans issues and worked closely with the VFW. McCain was a VFW member and consistently backed legislation to strengthen the nation’s military.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, a fellow Republican, will appoint McCain's replacement in the U.S. Senate.

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