September 2, 2018
By Mihir Zaveri
Meghan McCain, John McCain’s daughter, delivered a powerful speech at her father’s funeral on Saturday, and in a reproach of President Trump, said the “America of John McCain has no need to be made great again because it was always great.”
Ms. McCain’s speech contrasted her father’s legacy with the “opportunistic appropriation” and “cheap rhetoric from men who will never come near the sacrifice he gave so willingly.”
“He was a fire that burned bright,” Ms. McCain said. “A few have resented that fire for the light it cast upon them, for the truth it revealed about their character, but my father never cared what they thought. And even that small number still have the opportunity, as long as they draw breath, to live up to the example of John McCain.”
Ms. McCain’s speech, and her rebuke, came as Mr. Trump, wearing golf gear, a white shirt and a “Make America Great Again” hat, left the White House for his Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Va. Mr. Trump, who was not invited to Mr. McCain’s funeral, has long mocked and condemned the senator.
Mr. Trump had spent parts of the morning before Mr. McCain’s funeral tweeting his anger about the investigation into his campaign’s ties with Russia during the 2016 election and highlighting quotes from a mutual critic of the F.B.I. and Justice Department.
During Ms. McCain’s speech, she struggled to hold back tears, but appeared to make good on what she said was her father’s desire for her to show the world her toughness in her eulogy.
Ms. McCain described how her father instilled that toughness in her — by making her get back on a horse that had bucked her off, causing her to break her collarbone. But she also described a man who was sculpted by challenges in the Vietnam War and by the brain cancer that eventually took his life.
She said: “My father was a great man. He was a great warrior. He was a great American. I admired him for all of these things, but I love him because he was a great father.” She said Mr. McCain was defined by love, especially a love for the country and even stronger love for his wife and children.
“The best of John McCain, the greatest of his titles and the most important of his roles, was as a father,” Ms. McCain said.
Katie Rogers and Emily Cochrane contributed reporting.