Emotional Joe Biden remembers John McCain as 'a brother' at memorial service

A motorcade was scheduled to take McCain's body along a 12-kilometre route from the state Capitol to the North Phoenix Baptist church for a commemoration featuring former vice-president Joe Biden and other dignitaries.

Former vice president Joe Biden dabbed at tears as he remembered his colleague John McCain at a memorial service at a church in Phoenix on Thursday.

Biden noted that McCain died of the same kind of cancer that killed his son Joseph "Beau" Biden III and the two politicians' mutual friend Sen. But despite their political differences, the former vice president said he views McCain as a brother.

"To paraphrase Shakespeare, we shall not see his like again", Biden said.

Here are some of the most heartbreaking moments of Biden's eulogy.

Biden portrayed McCain's life as equal parts metaphor and inspiration.

McCain, who spent five and a half years as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam, was brutally beaten during his time in captivity. He spoke about the great loss he's experienced in his life - the death of his first wife and daughter in a auto accident, and the recent death of his son, Beau. "You just screwed up, Joe, '" he said. "We'd talk about promise".

Fitzgerald explains the odd pairing isn't really all that odd if you got to know McCain over the years. McCain's wife Cindy and her sons Jack and Jimmy, dressed in formal military attire, received McCain's body ahead of the formal ceremony.

Fitzgerald added that despite being from very different backgrounds, he and McCain developed a "meaningful friendship" - one that highlighted "the very rare and very special qualities of Senator McCain that I came to deeply admire".

"He's done so much for us", said Costalez, who stood watch earlier this week while McCain's body was at a funeral home. It's all about trust. "I'm a Democrat and I love John McCain".

McCain, who served in Congress since 1983 and in the U.S. Senate since 1987. died last Saturday of brain cancer. The disease that took John's life took our friend Teddy [Kennedy's] life. "It's brutal. It's relentless".

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In his speech, Biden captured the feeling of grief, describing the absence of McCain as "all consuming".

"It's like being sucked into a black hole inside your chest, and it's frightening", Biden said.

"John McCain's life is proof that some truths are timeless".

"Whenever I was in trouble, John was the first guy there, and I hope I was there for him". "He'd call me in the middle of a campaign and say, 'What the hell did you say that for? You just screwed up, Joe'". I heard him speak about them often, and the love always came pouring through in every word.

"He judged them on the work they put in and the principles they lived by".

The church's senior pastor, Noe Garcia, pronounced Senator McCain "a true American hero". "He made it easier for them to have confidence and faith in America", Biden said.

Biden ended his speech by addressing McCain's family.

"Jackie Robinson once said, 'A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.' Senator McCain, we will miss the blessing of being in your presence, but we will never forget the impact you had on the world and - more importantly - on each of the lives that you touched".

And then Biden spoke directly to McCain's children. To follow the course of your own spirit.

McCain raised his family in the Phoenix area and at his beloved ranch in Sedona, spending the final months of his life there.

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