In a ceremony true to the "maverick" that was Senator John McCain, political leaders, sports figures and family friends remembered the former senator as America's "hero" at his Arizona memorial service on Thursday -- all with a hearty dose of humor.
McCain, who died at the age of 81 last weekend after a battle with glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer that was diagnosed last year, was honored by close friends including his former chief of staff Grant Woods, who called his over 30 years of work with McCain the "greatest honor of my life."
"In Arizona, he was our hero. I think you can see from this outpouring of support and love for John McCain that he was America's hero," said Woods.
Meanwhile, former Vice President Joe Biden highlighted the senator's spirit of bipartisanship as his lasting legacy in American politics.
"John's story is the American story, that's not hyperbole. It's the American story. Grounded in respect and decency, basic fairness. The intolerance for the abuse of power," said Biden.
Biden, who had a decades-long friendship with McCain, and whose son, Beau Biden, also died of the same cancer, said that "the world now shares with you the ache of John's death."
McCain's casket now heads to Joint Base Andrews in Maryland ahead of a ceremony at the U.S. Capitol on Friday where he will lie in state.