On Capitol Plaza in Phoenix, citizens and authorities from the state of Arizona gathered to honor the recently deceased Senator John McCain.

Both McCain’s immediate family and Arizona’s political leaders spoke about the war veteran turned beloved legislator. The speakers focused on McCain’s efforts to unite Americans regardless of their political beliefs.

Cindy McCain, the senator’s wife, and the senator’s daughter Meghan gratefully listened to the heartfelt words from Arizonan politicians. Meghan McCain broke into tears as she approached her father’s coffin.

Former senator John Kyl, who was close to McCain, stated:

“I have been with Senator McCain all around the world, and I will tell you he had better instincts about how, when and where to assert American power than any other leader that I’ve known. He had been to more countries, knew more foreign leaders and had a better grasp of history than any other American official, including our secretaries of state. One illustration: When others were looking into Vladimir Putin’s eyes with an eye of understanding him and reaching accommodation with him, John said, ‘I looked into his eyes and I saw K.G.B.’”

Kyl also mentioned that Americans, despite their differences, should collectively appreciate what McCain achieved during his time in office.

Arizonan Governor Doug Ducey also spoke about McCain, stating:

“We think sometimes that politics is life and death, but John McCain knew better — because he had actually seen death and dying and tragedy. Along the way, he did it with humor and humanity, and without compromising the principles he held so dear.”

Ducey quoted McCain, stating, “I’d rather lose an election than lose a war.”

The governor further commented, “We knew he was telling us the truth.”

Other attendees also shared stories about McCain which highlighted the senator’s transcendental skills for empathy.