Meghan McCain gives emotional tribute to father: 'John McCain was defined by love'

"Nothing is going to break you," John McCain once said to his daughter.

September 1, 2018, 11:27 AM

Meghan McCain, one of Sen. John McCain's daughters, was overcome with emotion in a stirring and tearful eulogy to her beloved father.

"John McCain was not defined by prison, by the Navy, by the Senate, by the Republican Party, or by any single one of the deeds in his absolutely extraordinary life," she said at Saturday's ceremony at the Washington National Cathedral. "John McCain was defined by love."

Meghan McCain speaks at a memorial service for her father, Sen. John McCain, at Washington Nationals Cathedral in Washington, Sept. 1, 2018.
Chris Wattie/Reuters

"The best of John McCain, the greatest of his titles and the most important of his roles, was father," she said.

"I am here before you today saying the words I have never wanted to say, giving the speech I have never wanted to give, feeling the loss I have never wanted to feel: My father is gone."

Meghan McCain and her mother Cindy McCain embrace as the casket of the late Senator John McCain arrives at the Washington National Cathedral for the funeral service for McCain, Sept. 1, 2018, in Washington.
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

John McCain died last Saturday night of glioblastoma.

During his funeral service, his daughter, in an apparent shot at President Donald Trump, said, "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, nor the opportunistic appropriation of those who lived lives of comfort and privilege while he suffered and served. He was a great fire who burned bright."

Meghan McCain speaks at a memorial services for her father, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., at Washington Nationals Cathedral in Washington, Sept. 1, 2018.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

In another apparent dig at Trump, she said, "The America of John McCain has no need to be made great again because America was always great."

    Through tears, Meghan McCain recalled a childhood moment when she fell off her horse and broke her collarbone.

    After taking her to the doctor, she said her father made her get back on the horse.

    Crying, Meghan McCain said she remembered the "pride and love in his eyes" as in that moment he told her, "Nothing is going to break you."

    While as a child she said she was furious, now, she is grateful.

      "The rest of my life, whenever I fall down, I get back up," she said. "Whenever I'm brought low, I rise."

      "When my father got sick," she said through tears, she asked him what he wanted her to say in her eulogy.

      Her father replied, "Show them how tough you are."

      "I know you can see this gathering here in this cathedral," she said to her father, through tears. "The nation is here to remember you."

      The casket of Sen. John McCain is carried out of the Washington National Cathedral in Washington, Sept. 1, 2018, after a memorial service, as Cindy McCain is escorted by her son Jimmy McCain and other family members.
      Susan Walsh/AP

      Meghan McCain is a co-host of ABC's "The View."

      Her emotional tribute was followed by a reading of the poem "The Requiem" by one of her brothers, Jimmy McCain.

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