Arizona Senator John McCain died on Saturday at the age of 81 following a yearlong battle with brain cancer. McCain was one of America’s most respected senators and is being mourned by people across the country.
In honor of his service to the country both in the Senate and in the military, McCain’s memorial services will be spread out over the course of the rest of this week with the senator lying “in state” first in the Arizona State Capitol building before being moved to Washington, D.C. for the same honor in the U.S. Capitol building.
At the services on Thursday in Phoenix, three prominent Arizona athletes will participate, with Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald delivering a tribute to McCain. Fitzgerald told ESPN on Monday that he is honored to take part in the services.
“It’s truly one of the greatest honors of my life to be able to talk about somebody who served his country so passionately and had been so dedicated to policies of this nation,” Fitzgerald said. “So, I was really taken aback by it.”
In addition to Fitzgerald’s eulogy, former Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman Luis Gonzalez and former Phoenix/Arizona Coyotes forward Shane Doan will serve as pallbearers during Thursday’s service. McCain became close friends with all three athletes during his time in the Senate. Fitzgerald and McCain’s mutual admiration has been widely known since last December when the wide receiver penned a tribute to him in Sports Illustrated.
The Senator’s funeral services later in the week will be high profile, with former presidents George Bush and Barack Obama delivering eulogies before he is buried in a private service at the United State Naval Academy Cemetery in Annapolis, Maryland on Sunday.