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McCain to be buried at US Naval Academy

John McCain picked a historic site overlooking the Severn River over the grandeur of Arlington National Cemetery.

John McCain is being laid to rest at the US Naval Academy after a five-day procession that served as a final call to arms for a nation he warned could lose its civility and sense of shared purpose.

The private ceremony in Annapolis, Maryland, was as carefully planned as the rest of Mr McCain’s farewell tour, which began in Arizona after he died on August 25 from brain cancer and stretched to Washington.

On Saturday, speeches by his daughter Meghan and two former presidents – Republican George W Bush and Democrat Barack Obama – remembered Mr McCain as a patriot who could bridge painful rivalries.

But even as their remarks made clear their admiration for him, they represented a repudiation of President Donald Trump’s brand of tough-talking, divisive politics.

Former presidents attend the memorial service for John McCain (Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP)

“So much of our politics, our public life, our public discourse can seem small and mean and petty, trafficking in bombast and insult and phoney controversies and manufactured outrage,” Mr Obama said.

“It’s a politics that pretends to be brave and tough but in fact is born in fear. John called on us to be bigger than that. He called on us to be better than that.”

Mr Bush, who called his 2000 rival for the Republican presidential nomination a friend, said: “John’s voice will always come as a whisper over our shoulder – we are better than this, America is better than this.”

But it was Meghan McCain’s emotional remarks that most bluntly rebuked Mr Trump, who had mocked her father for getting captured in Vietnam.

At the pulpit of the spectacular cathedral, with Mr Trump’s daughter Ivanka in the audience, Mr McCain’s daughter delivered a broadside against the uninvited president.

Meghan McCain speaks at a memorial service for her father John McCain (Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP)

“The America of John McCain,” she declared with a steely stare, “has no need to be made great again because America was always great.”

The audience of Washington’s military, civilian and other leaders burst into applause.

Mr Trump spent Saturday tweeting and golfing in Virginia.

Mr McCain’s family, including his 106-year-old mother Roberta, are escorting his remains to Annapolis.

His choice of burial location was as deliberate as the other details of his procession.

He picked the historic site overlooking the Severn River over the grandeur of Arlington National Cemetery, where his father and grandfather, both admirals, are buried.

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