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John McCain's daughter, Meghan, delivers powerful eulogy for her late father

"The best of John McCain, the greatest of his titles and the most important of his roles, was as a father."
Meghan McCain
Meghan McCain, daughter of late Sen. John McCain, delivered an emotional eulogy for her late father Saturday at the Washington National Cathedral.Getty Images
/ Source: TODAY

Some of the country's most influential political figures assembled Saturday at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., to bid farewell to beloved Sen. John McCain. The most powerful of tributes at the memorial service came from the beloved statesman's daughter, Meghan, who delivered a sharp and moving eulogy.

She began by speaking about the many achievements that defined her late father, listing at last the one that meant most to her.

"He was a sailor. He was an aviator. He was a husband. He was a warrior. He was a prisoner. He was a hero. He was a congressman. He was a senator. He was a nominee for president of the United States. These are all the titles and the roles of a life that has been well-lived," she said.

"I admired him for all of these things, but I love him because he was a great father."

While remembering her dad, Meghan was not afraid to wear her heart on her sleeve, at times delivering her words through tears. In some instances, she got political as well.

"We 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," she said.

Meghan also praised "the America of John McCain."

"She is resourceful and confident and secure," she said of the nation. "She meets her responsibilities. She speaks quietly because she is strong. America does not boast because she has no need. The America of John McCain has no need to be made great again because America was always great."

McCain, who died on Aug. 25 at age 81 from brain cancer, was honored in a ceremony that brought together politicians from all sides of the aisle. Former Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush, who each delivered tributes, arrived with their respective spouses, Michelle and Laura. Former President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton sat next to them in the front row of the cathedral as the service began.

Meghan moved up her wedding last year after her father's brain cancer diagnosis, to make sure that he would be able to walk her down the aisle. While she took the time in her eulogy to recall personal anecdotes with her late dad, telling those in the pews that her father was "defined by love," she also made sure to commemorate his position as a leader in America.

"Dad, I know you were not perfect," she said. "When no leader wants to admit to fault or failure, you were an exception and you gave us an ideal to strive for."

"I know you can see this gathering here in this cathedral," she in closing. "The nation is here to remember you."