McCain, who died Saturday at the age of 81, had asked that the former presidents speak at his funeral at Washington’s National Cathedral on Saturday, according to CBS News. Vice President Mike Pence is expected to attend.
Both Obama and Bush defeated McCain in races for the presidency. Bush bested him in the 2000 Republican primary and Obama won the presidency in 2008 against McCain. But both men deeply admired the Arizona senator.
Obama said McCain had the “courage to put the greater good” above his own.
Bush called McCain “a man of deep conviction and a patriot of the highest order.” Some lives, he said, “are so vivid, it is difficult to imagine them ended. Some voices are so vibrant, it is hard to think of them stilled.”
McCain will lie in state at the Arizona State Capitol on Wednesday, his birthday. Vice President Biden is expected to speak the following day at a service in the North Phoenix Baptist Church before McCain’s body is transported to Washington to lie in state at the Capitol Rotunda on Friday. Bush, Obama, McCain’s family and others are slated to speak at a full-dress service on Saturday in the National Cathedral.
A private ceremony will be held on Sunday at the U.S. Naval Academy Chapel in Annapolis, Maryland, and McCain will be buried at the U.S. Naval Academy Cemetery next to Naval Academy classmate and long-time friend, Admiral Chuck Larson.
“I want, when I leave [to] just have a couple of people that stand up and say, ‘This guy, he served his country,’” McCain told Leslie Stahl last year on “60 Minutes.”