McCain Will Receive Honor Given to Only 30 Other Americans

And the former head of the Vietnam prison that held him as POW feels 'very sad'
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 27, 2018 2:00 AM CDT
Updated Aug 27, 2018 5:57 AM CDT
Former Head of Prison That Held McCain Feels 'Very Sad'
Flags flying a half-staff in honor of Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., frame the U.S. Capital at daybreak in Washington, Sunday, Aug. 26, 2018. McCain, 81, died at his ranch in Arizona after a yearlong battle with brain cancer.   (AP Photo/J. David Ake)

It's not every day an interview in the Viet Nam News makes US headlines, but it's appropriate in the aftermath of Sen. John McCain's death. Slate picked up the article, which expresses condolences from retired Col. Tran Trong Duyet, who ran the Hoa Lo Prison where McCain was kept for more than five years as a prisoner of war. Duyet has long denied that McCain was tortured in the prison, and in his new comments he said he felt "very sad" to hear of McCain's death and remembered him fondly: "I liked him personally for his toughness and strong stance." The latest on McCain's funeral arrangements:

  • McCain will lie in state at the US Capitol on Friday, with an 11am ceremony followed by a public viewing from 2 to 8pm. USA Today reports that in 166 years, only 30 people have previously had that same honor. Among those who have lain in state at the Capitol include 11 US presidents, two vice presidents, and the unknown soldiers from World Wars I and II and the Korean and Vietnam Wars. The last person to have had the honor was Sen. Daniel Inouye in 2012.
  • The New York Times reports the honor is given to only the country's "most eminent citizens," and that McCain will be the 13th senator or former senator to lie in state. The practice actually began with a senator: Former House Speaker and Sen. Henry Clay was the first to lie in state in 1852.

  • The funeral arrangements include a service at Washington National Cathedral on Saturday morning, and Slate reports "two former rivals" will deliver McCain's eulogies. It reports the Arizona senator previously asked former Presidents Obama and George W. Bush to speak at the service.
  • That decision was made as McCain planned his funeral services over the last year, along with another one: that President Trump not be invited. CNN spoke with two family friends who say that decision remains unchanged. Mike Pence will reportedly attend.
  • A private burial will be held Sunday afternoon at the US Naval Academy Cemetery in Annapolis, Md. The Washington Post reports McCain's father and grandfather are buried there, but McCain's resting place will be beside his friend of many decades, Adm. Charles "Chuck" Larson. The Baltimore Sun reports Larson died in 2014 after a two-year battle with leukemia, and that he reserved four plots, including two for the men's wives, before his death.
Read what McCain wanted on his tombstone. (More John McCain stories.)

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