Sen. John McCain to be buried at US Naval Academy

McCain to be buried there Sunday after private funeral service

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Sen. John McCain's weeklong memorial has moved from his home state of Arizona to the nation's capital.

On Friday, thousands of people filed into the U.S. Capitol Rotunda, where the body of McCain lies in state. He will be buried at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis on Sunday after a private funeral service.

McCain chose to be buried at the academy rather than Arlington National Cemetery, where his father and grandfather, both Navy admirals, are buried.

The funeral service will be held at the academy's chapel, which McCain likely walked by many times as a midshipman.

On Friday, the flag outside the chapel flew at half-staff in honor of one of the Naval Academy's most illustrious, but also most rebellious, students.

This is also where Triona Swanson, who graduated from St. Agnes Academy in Houston, is in her third year, hoping to become a naval aviator.

Her father, John Swanson, was visiting his daughter this weekend. He told KPRC Channel 2 that Triona will be in the chapel for the memorial service.

"Yes, she has volunteered. She and a couple of her friends have volunteered to be part of the service. They'll be in the chapel, I believe, Sunday morning. I don't know what else is involved in that service, but she's very excited to be a part of this," John Swanson said. "I'm sure it is something she will never forget. Yes, it's an exciting time to be here and I'm very proud of her, and as are the rest of her family to be here during this time, and it's an important time in history when John McCain will be buried here."

McCain will be buried in the Naval Academy cemetery on a peninsula that overlooks the Severn River. He will be buried next to one of the midshipmen he went to the academy with in the 1950s.

It's as serene and peaceful a place as you'll find, a stark contrast to the life McCain lived, first as a prisoner of war, then as a maverick U.S. senator who sometimes took a stand against the interests of his own party and who launched two unsuccessful bids for president.

In his final days, McCain said he loved life and that he'd fought as hard as he could to hold onto it. Inn a battle we will all lose, McCain went out like the hero he was.

A celebration of his life will be held Saturday at the National Cathedral.