Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) died on Saturday after a long battle with brain cancer, and befitting his status as one of Washington’s elder statesmen, a number of official tributes are planned. McCain’s body will lie in state at the Arizona state capitol and U.S. Capitol building this week, and his funeral will be held at the Washington National Cathedral on Saturday.
McCain will only be the 33rd person to lie in state at the U.S. Capitol. It’s a reflection of his long service in the Senate — 31 years — and his decorated military career. McCain served 22 years in the Navy; during five of those, he was a prisoner of war in Vietnam, held in the infamous “Hanoi Hilton.”
It follows, then, that in planning his final arrangements, McCain asked to be buried at a site that reflected his military service.
Will John McCain be buried at Arlington?
So, will John McCain be buried at Arlington? No, John McCain will not be buried at Arlington National Cemetery. He will be laid to rest on the grounds of his alma mater the Annapolis Naval Academy, in Annapolis, Maryland, as he specified.
McCain graduated from the academy in 1958. He will be buried next to his best friend from his Navy years, Charles “Chuck” Larsen, who died in 2014 at age 77. In his memoir, McCain wrote that his plans were to spend his final days at his home in Sedona, Arizona, then “take my leave bound for a place near my old friend Chuck Larson, in the cemetery on the Severn, back where it began.”
He added: “Other friends have left, too. I’m tempted to say, before their time. But that isn’t the truth. What God and good luck provide we must accept with gratitude. Our time is our time. It’s up to us to make the most of it, make it amount to more than the sum of our days. God knows, my dear friend Chuck Larson, whom I had looked up to since we were boys, made the most of his.”