WASHINGTON — Alaska Sen. Dan Sullivan paid tribute to his fellow Republican, the late Sen. John McCain, in the Senate chambers this week.
Alaska's junior senator spoke of McCain's experience, candor and sense of humor in a speech on the Senate floor.
Sullivan serves on the Armed Services Committee, which McCain chaired, traveled with him internationally and campaigned on his behalf in Arizona.
The Alaska senator spoke next to McCain's Senate desk, which was draped in black and adorned with white flowers.
Sullivan called McCain a "man of courage, a steadfast patriot, an American hero, a warrior of indomitable spirit, who not only believed in American exceptionalism but inspired millions of Americans and millions of people across the globe to believe in it as well."
McCain took time with newer members of the Senate, coaching them and traveling with them, Sullivan said. "One of the true honors of my life was having John McCain as a friend and a mentor in the Senate," Sullivan said. Sullivan is a first-term senator; he was elected in 2014.
"I had the honor of visiting Senator McCain about six weeks ago in Arizona with his wonderful wife Cindy…. I was getting ready to leave, and I said: 'John, I just want you to know all your Senate colleagues really miss you.' He hadn't said much during the conversation. He looked at me and said: 'Dan, that is a lie.' Again, after all he had been through, he still had a lightness of being and wit and laughter. He still knew how to love the world, how to appreciate it in all its humor, splendor and creativity," Sullivan said.
McCain has been lying in state at the Arizona Capitol, and is scheduled to leave Arizona Thursday. A military aircraft will take McCain to Washington, D.C., for a public viewing in the U.S. Capitol Friday and a service at the Washington National Cathedral Saturday. He will be buried at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.
Watch the full speech here.