Before John McCain‘s passing to brain cancer on Saturday (Aug. 25), the 81-year-old politician called for former Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush to give the eulogy at his funeral, CBS News reports. As for the current president, McCain requested that Donald Trump not “take part” in the service, per The New York Times.
In 2008, Obama and McCain engaged in their presidential campaigns and often met each other on the national stage to debate their policies. In a statement on McCain’s death, Obama highlighted those instances and said even though they lived on different sides of the political spectrum, they both had a common goal.
“We saw our political battles, even, as a privilege, something noble, an opportunity to serve as stewards of those high ideals at home, and to advance them around the world,” Obama wrote. “We saw this country as a place where anything is possible – and citizenship as our patriotic obligation to ensure it forever remains that way.”
Our statement on the passing of Senator John McCain: pic.twitter.com/3GBjNYxoj5
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) August 26, 2018
The former military personnel also requested to be buried at Annapolis, Maryland’s U.S. Naval Academy, a desire he revealed in a Sept. 2017 60 Minutes segment. “I want, when I leave, that the ceremony is at the Naval Academy,” he said. “And we just have a couple of people that stand up and say, ‘This guy, he served his country.’ “
McCain’s funeral will be held at North Phoenix Baptist Church on Thursday (Aug. 30).