And the absence of Trump, whose bitter feud with McCain has wrangled United States politics during that time, will serve as a final rebuke of the president, highlighting the clash between a Republican elder statesman and the current president from his own party. John McCain at his funeral Saturday morning - paying tribute to his devotion and tenderness as a father and family man.
McCain, the Arizona senator who died Saturday at 81, was remembered as a man who inspired other leaders even as he vexed them with a rebellious streak and impish humor.
The public is invited to line up along Constitution Avenue as the motorcade makes its way to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, where McCain's wife, Cindy McCain, will lay a ceremonial wreath in honor of those killed during the war.
McCain was one of the Republican senators most critical of the magnate during his over 2 1/2 years in office, being himself the target of the president's insults on social media.
"I always thought of John as a brother", Biden added.
She said they "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".
Kushner and Ivanka Trump could be seen greeting other guests inside the cathedral, including McCain's close friend, South Carolina Sen.
On Sunday, a private service will take place at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, and then his body will be laid to rest in the US Naval Academy Cemetery.
The remarks from former Democratic and Republican presidents who were once rivals to McCain will send a message of unity and bipartisanship at a time when Washington is deeply divided.
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It is the first of two days of services in Washington honouring the Arizona senator, who served in Congress for 35 years. McCain's son Jimmy will read the poem "The Requiem". John McCain begin with a procession Saturday morning that will start at the U.S. Capitol and end at the Washington National Cathedral, with a stop at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
McCain the aviator spent more than five years in a Vietnamese prison camp, returning home to launch a political career that saw him eventually run for president in 2000 but lose the nomination to Bush. Former Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman and actors Warren Beatty and Annette Bening also stopped.
At Mr McCain's request, two former presidents - Democrat Barack Obama and Republican George Bush - are expected to speak during the funeral service.
John McCain is set to receive a final presidential farewell, but just not from the current president.
Donald Trump, who has mocked McCain's military service, has been asked to stay away from all proceedings, according to reports.
Inside the cathedral, which took 83 years to build and is the sixth largest in the world, the congregants will hear from a central figure of the Vietnam War: 95-year-old Henry Kissinger.
Larson was among hundreds of people who did so in the Capitol Rotunda immediately following a closed ceremony where fellow lawmakers, relatives and friends first paid tribute to the Vietnam hero and longtime senator lying in state - an honor that only has been extended to 30 other people.
He died of brain cancer on August 25 at age 81.