BILLINGS – Montana’s U.S. senators, Jon Tester and Steve Daines, will be in Arizona Thursday for the funeral of their colleague Sen. John McCain of Arizona.
McCain will lie in state in the Arizona Capitol Wednesday, which would have been his 82nd birthday.
Many members of the U.S. Senate, including Tester and Daines, will attend a memorial service Thursday morning at the North Phoenix Baptist Church. Former Vice President Joe Biden and others will give tributes to McCain.
Tester issued a statement this week: “John McCain spent every day of his life fighting for Americans. He led by example and he transcended politics because he was never afraid to buck both parties to do what he thought was right. He was a friend of mine in the Senate and it was my honor to serve alongside this true American hero.”
Daines added, “ I am grateful for his service and sacrifice to our nation. I will honor his legacy as a U.S. Senator and a true American hero.”
Former Montana U.S. Sen. Max Baucus spent 28 years working with McCain. He released a statement to MTN News:
“There was no one else in the United State Senate like John McCain. John McCain had a calling to public service, driven by the legacy of patriotism that were the values of his family. John epitomized courage and integrity which is why he was never afraid to speak truth to power. He voted his conscience and stood up for what he believed was right, sometimes contrary to his own party. His recent vote against repeal of Obamacare was a prime example. He voted with his heart and to protect his constituents. I had the honor of knowing and working with Senator McCain for 28 years. His leadership will be sorely missed, particularly in these times of global uncertainty. My deepest condolences to his wife Cindy and the entire McCain family.”
Baucus will attend a memorial service on Saturday at the Washington National Cathedral. Former Presidents George W. Bush and Barrack Obama, who both defeated McCain in presidential contests, will deliver remarks.
McCain will be buried in the U.S. Naval Academy Cemetery on Sunday.
Reporting by Jon Stepanek for MTN News