In death, Sen. John McCain is paying tribute to two things that meant the most to him in life: friendship and the military.
The six-term senator's request regarding his burial site spoke to his trademark maverick style in that he chose to be buried at the U.S. Naval Academy Cemetery in Annapolis, Maryland, near a longtime friend, instead of at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia, where his father and grandfather, both admirals, are buried.
McCain, who died Saturday at age 81 after a battle with brain cancer, will be buried next to good friend Adm. Chuck Larson, who passed away in 2014. The two became close during their time at the U.S. Naval Academy in the late 1950s and remained friends throughout McCain's political career, which began in 1982 when he was elected to the House of Representatives, according to The Associated Press.
The 2008 Republican presidential nominee said his friendship with Larson was "one of the great honors of my life" while speaking at the U.S. Naval Academy in 1998, according to the AP.
McCain's burial site at the U.S. Naval Academy also includes two other burial plots reserved for McCain's widow, Cindy McCain, as well as Larson's widow.
McCain family spokesperson Rick Davis on Monday also shared a powerful letter that was left by McCain for "his fellow Americans."
"I have often observed that I am the luckiest person on earth. I feel that way even now as I prepare for the end of my life. I have loved my life, all of it. I have had experiences, adventures and friendships enough for ten satisfying lives, and I am so thankful," McCain wrote.
"Do not despair of our present difficulties but believe always in the promise and greatness of America, because nothing is inevitable here. Americans never quit. We never surrender. We never hide from history. We make history."
Throughout the week, McCain will be honored with memorial services and tributes, from Arizona to the nation's capital, before he's laid to rest in his funeral in Annapolis on Sunday.
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