“I am here before you today saying the words I have never wanted to say, giving the speech I have never wanted to give, feeling the loss I have never wanted to feel,” said Meghan McCain early on in the moving and heartfelt eulogy she delivered Saturday morning for her father, Sen. John McCain, in Washington, D.C., at Washington National Cathedral.
The assembled crowd included three former presidents — Barack Obama, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton — plus members of Congress, the Trump Cabinet, and scores of friends, family and associates of the deceased senator.
First daughter Ivanka Trump, along with her husband, Jared Kushner, were also present at the service.
Meghan McCain, 33, is one of the seven children the senator left behind when he passed away on August 25, 2018, after his valiant battle with brain cancer. He also left behind five grandchildren and his mother, Roberta McCain.
Throughout the memorial services and funeral services this week, the senator’s wife, Cindy McCain, has seemed a pinnacle of incredible strength through her grief — and the entire McCain family has been at her side.
“My father is gone,” Meghan McCain also said in her eulogy — a eulogy she delivered through tears that will be remembered for many days and weeks to come for its passion and dedication to her father’s memory.
“John Sidney McCain III was many things. He was a sailor, he was an aviator, he was a husband, he was a warrior, he was a prisoner, he was a hero, he was a congressman, he was a senator, he was nominee for president of the United States. These are all of the titles and roles of a life that’s been well-lived. They’re not the greatest of his titles nor the most important of his roles,” she also said.
She continued on with these comments — and note the swipe within here: “He was a great man. We gather to mourn the passing of American greatness, the real thing, not cheap rhetoric from men who will never come near the sacrifice, those that live lives of comfort and privilege while he suffered and served.”
“He was a great fire who burned bright,” she went on to say. “In the past few days, my family and I have heard from so many of those Americans who stood in the warmth and light of his fire and found it illuminated what’s best about them. We are grateful to them because they’re grateful to him. A few have resented that fire for the light it cast upon them for the truth it revealed about their character, but my father never cared what they thought and even that small number still have the opportunity as long as they draw breath to live up to the example of John McCain.”
She shared stories of how her father helped her discover her own strength as a girl when she was thrown from a horse — incredibly moving.
And then she said this, in which again she seemed to deliberately swipe at President Donald Trump during the solemn, personal, and moving ceremony and eulogy.
Read these next few paragraphs from the remarks she delivered on Saturday and see what you think — then tell us in the comments section below.
“When my father got sick, when I asked him what he wanted me to do with this eulogy, he said, ‘Show them how tough you are.’ That is what love meant to John McCain,” she said.
“Love for my father also meant caring for the nation entrusted to him. My father, the true son of his father and grandfather, was born into the character of American greatness, was convinced of the need to defend it with ferocity and faith. John McCain was born in a distant, now-vanquished outpost of American power, and he understood America as a sacred trust. He understood our republic demands responsibilities, even before it defends its rights. He knew navigating the line between good and evil was often difficult but always simple. He grasped that our purpose and meaning was rooted in a missionary responsibility, stretching back centuries.”
“Just as the first Americans looked upon a new world full of potential for a grand experiment in freedom and self-confidence, so their descendants have a responsibility to defend the old world from its worst self. The America of John McCain is the America of the revolution. Fighters with no stomach for the summer soldier and sunshine patriot, making the world anew with bells of America of John McCain is the America of Abraham Lincoln. Fulfilling the promise of the Declaration of Independence that all men are created equal, and suffering greatly to see it through.”
“The America of John McCain is the America of the boys who rushed the colors in every war across three centuries, knowing in them is the life of the republic, and particularly those by their daring, as Ronald Reagan said, gave up their chance as being husbands and fathers and grandfathers and gave up their chance to be revered old men. The America of John McCain is, yes, the America of Vietnam, fighting the fight, even in the most grim circumstances, even in the most distant, hostile corner of the world, standing for the life and liberty of other peoples in other lands.”
“The America of John McCain has no need to be made great again because America was always great.”
“The America of John McCain is generous and welcoming and bold. She’s resourceful, confident, secure. She meets her responsibilities. She speaks quietly because she’s strong. America does not boast because she has no need to. The America of John McCain has no need to be made great again because America was always great. That fervent faith, that proven devotion, that abiding love — that is what drove my father from the fiery skies above the Red River delta to the brink of the presidency itself.”
“Love defined my father. As a young man he wondered if he would measure up to his distinguished lineage. I miss him so badly. I want to tell him that take small comfort in this. Somewhere in the great beyond where the warriors go, there are two admirals of the United States meeting their much-loved son, telling him he is the greatest among them.”
She also said this: “Dad, I know you were not perfect. We live in an era where we knock down old American heroes for all their imperfections when no leader wants to admit to fault or failure. You were an exception and gave us an ideal to strive for.”
To view the entire eulogy as delivered by the senator’s daughter, click here.
Check out some of the chatter on Twitter about all of this — and then see the video below:
How are "we all on the same team" when Meghan is taking shots at the sitting POTUS while eulogizing her father? Is this team hatred you are talking about?
— kyle mallatt (@kylemallatt) September 1, 2018
I like Meghan McCain, but why does she take the “Make America Great Again” slogan so very literally? I just saw a clip of her saying “America Was Always Great” in a very feisty & angry tone.
I never took the MAGA slogan to mean that America Was Never Great or is not Great. ❤️
— Kristy Swanson (@KristySwansonXO) September 1, 2018
John Mccain's daughter, Meghan Mccain, forgot she was speaking at her father's funeral and not at his political rally.
— Vojraj Vatta (@VojrajVatta) September 1, 2018
Meghan McCain took a number of swipes at President Trump on Saturday in a eulogy for her father John McCain — who sparred with Trump on a number of occasions before his death last week of brain cancer. #McCainMemorial https://t.co/vtv2pgWSoW pic.twitter.com/5lDcLEBXvF
— Fox News (@FoxNews) September 1, 2018
— The Hill (@thehill) September 1, 2018
And don’t miss this video of Vice President Mike Pence’s comments about Sen. McCain at the Capitol ceremony: