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Joe Biden, McCain children, Larry Fitzgerald to speak at senator’s Az memorial

Former Vice President Joe Biden, who years ago reached across the political aisle to become a longtime colleague and friend to Sen. John McCain, will speak Thursday at the senator’s Arizona memorial service.

“John was many things – a proud graduate of the Naval Academy, a Senate colleague, a political opponent. But, to me, more than anything, John was a friend,” Biden said in a statement on Twitter.

Davis referred to the longtime friendship between Biden, a Democrat, and McCain, a Republican.

“He’s always had an incredibly close and personal relationship with Joe Biden,” Davis said. “It’s been tested over the years on issue after issue, and yet, they’ve remained steadfast in their personal relationship.”

Biden and McCain remained close even after Biden became running mate and vice president to Barack Obama, who defeated McCain in the 2008 presidential race. Biden was among the stream of visitors arriving in the past several weeks at McCain’s home in Cornville, near Sedona.

At a news conference at the state Capitol, Davis said McCain affected people in and out of politics.

“He was truly authentic. He strove everyday to tell the truth, and when he didn’t, he reminded you that he hadn’t told the truth,” Davis said. “He touched so many lives. He knew so many people, but he was always an inspiration to those people.”

The Arizona services will be followed by a public memorial service Friday at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., where McCain will lie in state. An invitation-only service will be at 10 a.m. Saturday at Washington National Cathedral. Both services will be live-streamed.

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Davis said McCain will be buried Sunday at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, near his best friend, Adm. Charles “Chuck” Larson. McCain and Larson, who died in 2014, roomed together at Annapolis and completed flight school in 1960.

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