At the cathedral, the coffin was brought into the vast chamber and a bourdon bell tolled as the family entered. The service included touches from different parts of his life. The mourners sang the Navy Hymn and “My Country, ’Tis of Thee” while the United States Naval Academy Glee Club performed “Amazing Grace” and, with the Navy Band Brass Ensemble, “Battle Hymn of the Republic.” All of them together with the Cathedral Choir later joined in “America the Beautiful.”
In addition to his daughter and the former presidents, Mr. McCain chose former Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, an independent Democrat from Connecticut, and former Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger to speak. Mr. McCain said earlier this year that he wished he had picked Mr. Lieberman as his running mate in 2008 instead of Sarah Palin, who was not invited to Saturday’s service.
The senator’s son, Jimmy McCain, wearing his Marine uniform, read “Requiem,” by Robert Louis Stevenson, the same verses the senator used to end his most recent book — “here is the sailor, home from the sea.” Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, former Senator Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire and Sidney McCain, the senator’s daughter, all read from Scripture. Renée Fleming performed “Danny Boy.”
The honorary pallbearers were a who’s who of the senator’s life and across-the-aisle friendships, including former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., former Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg of New York, the actor Warren Beatty and a bevy of current and former senators, advisers, fund-raisers and friends. A prominent Russian dissident, Vladimir Kara-Murza, was also included, underscoring the senator’s longstanding opposition to the authoritarian government of President Vladimir V. Putin.
The senator’s remains will be interred on Sunday at the United States Naval Academy Cemetery, next to his lifelong friend and 1958 academy classmate, Admiral Charles R. Lawson.