Meghan McCain's emotional eulogy at John McCain's funeral: 'America was always great'

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Saturday, September 1, 2018
Meghan McCain eulogizes her father at National Cathedral
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Meghan McCain speaks at a memorial service for her father Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., at Washington National Cathedral on Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018.

WASHINGTON -- John McCain's daughter opened his memorial service with a tearful and impassioned tribute, posing her father's legacy as a direct challenge to President Donald Trump.

Meghan McCain said her father was a "great man" and she encouraged others to live up to his example, setting a tone that echoed the senator's own fighting spirit as services began Saturday at the Washington National Cathedral.

Her tearful, impassioned tribute opened the memorial service for John McCain at Washington National Cathedral. She said mourners "gather here to mourn the passing of American greatness - the real thing, not cheap rhetoric from men who will never come near the sacrifice he gave so willingly, nor the opportunistic appropriation of those who lived lives of comfort and privilege while he suffered and served."

She said to applause, "The America of John McCain has no need to be made great again because America was always great."

Trump is not on hand for the ceremony; McCain's family made clear he was not invited.

Three former presidents, scores of members of Congress, current and former world leaders and family and friends have gathered Saturday morning to eulogize McCain as an American hero. His flag-draped casket was escorted by military body bearers up the cathedral steps under gray skies.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.