The funeral should be held at the National Cathedral in Washington.

The flags were half-masted in the United States Sunday, the day after the death of Republican Senator John McCain  , former pilot during the Vietnam War and candidate for the White House tumultuous political career, but today celebrated almost universally.

The Arizona senator died at the age of 81 on Saturday at his ranch near Sedona, after thirteen months fighting against brain cancer. He was 81 years old and seven children. His family and his second wife, Cindy, were with him on his last breath.

As for John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks and some illustrious senators, his coffin will be presented in the capitol rotunda in Washington, an honor reserved for those who have marked the history of the United States.

According to the “New York Times”, it will also be presented at the Capitol of Arizona, the desert state of the southwest that has represented more than 35 years in Congress.

The funeral should be held at the National Cathedral in Washington.

Former presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush, a Democrat and a Republican, are expected to make funeral eulogies at his request, according to the Times. Several media reported several months ago that the Senator had specifically asked that Donald Trump not participate, Vice President Mike Pence being planned instead.

This program has not been officially confirmed.

“He served his country”

He was, however, announced to be buried at the Annapolis Naval Academy Cemetery on the east coast, where he was trained as a marine pilot.

The epitaph of his tomb will, according to his wish expressed in an interview in 2015: “He served his country”.

His departure temporarily reduces the Republican majority in the Senate to 50 seats against 49 for the Democratic opposition. It is up to the governor of Arizona to appoint a successor until a poll is held in the 2020 elections.

“Patriot”, “hero”, “fighter”, “non-conformist”: the words of the tributes rendered by the whole political class of the country had for common point the career of the man in the service of the nation.

“He’s a patriot, whatever the party is, he’s a patriot,” Hillary Clinton, moved, told CNN.

Trump discreet 

A tribute, however, is missing: that of the current president of the United States.

Donald Trump – John McCain said in 2016 that he would not vote for him, not hiding his contempt for him – tweeted a brief message of condolence to the McCain family , but without mentioning the man’s journey.   

“My condolences and my most sincere respect for Senator John McCain’s family, our hearts and prayers are with you!” He wrote. 

John McCain was one of the few famous Congressional Congresses outside the United States, and a regular visitor to foreign capitals in parliamentary delegations. We saw him a lot in Baghdad, in the Middle East or in Kiev, where he had supported the “Orange Revolution”. He was a virulent slayer of Vladimir Putin.  

French President Emmanuel Macron, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other leaders praised his memory this weekend. “A tireless defender of a strong transatlantic alliance,” said German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Jean-Yves Le Drian, French Minister for Foreign Affairs, recalled that McCain had visited Mali in the first weeks of the Serval military operation in 2013 to meet the French forces.  

Figure not consensual 

During his lifetime, John McCain was not always a consensual figure.  

In the 2000 presidential primaries he cultivated a centrist Republican image at the outspoken, but he failed George W. Bush, more in tune with conservative orthodoxy.

In the Senate, he was a fierce supporter of the Iraq war and regretted the departure of US troops under Barack Obama. His defense of a permanent rise in military spending was criticized right and left as irresponsible budget.

He is also accused of having put his foot in the stirrup to the precursors of the populist conservative movement of the Tea Party by choosing as racer Sarah Palin, when he was Republican candidate for the White House in 2008 – a decision he will eventually regret.

But his commitment against torture, immigration reform favorable to undocumented migrants and to defend a political tradition of civility have on the contrary seen him transcend the partisan divisions to ally themselves with democrats.

The other Arizona senator Jeff Flake said Sunday that, certainly, his former colleague was a volcanic character. “But he forgave easily, moved on and preferred to see what his opponents were good at, it’s a very useful lesson in the current period,” he told ABC.