Honoring John McCain: Joe Biden, Arizona lawmakers remember McCain as “America's hero”

Joe Biden on the pain of cancer

Former Vice President Joe Biden said he trusted McCain with his life “and I think he would have trusted me with his.”

Biden noted that “there are times when life can be so cruel, pain so blinding it’s hard to see anything else.” He pointed to cancer, glioblastoma, that took the life of their mutual friend former Senator Ted Kennedy and Biden’s own son Beau.

Former US Vice President Joe Biden wipes a tear while giving a tribute during memorial service at North Phoenix Baptist Church for US Senator John McCain on August 30, 2018, in Phoenix. (Photo by Matt YORK / POOL / AFP) (Photo credit should read MATT YORK/AFP/Getty Images)

Matt York / AFP/Getty Images

“It’s brutal, it’s relentless and its unforgiving,” said a subdued Biden. “But the world now shares with you the ache of John’s death,” he added, saying he’s received numerous calls, letters and messages of sympathy from around the world and the country.

“Character is destiny, and John had character,” he added.

Biden, who has experienced his own share of family heartache and loss, said there will be days where a feeling, a smell or a fleeting image of McCain will bring sorrow. He added, however, that there will be a day when his memory will bring happiness instead of tears.

“You know you’re going to make it when the image of your dad, your husband, your friend crosses your mind and a smile comes to your lip before a tear to your eye,” he said.

“I promise you, I give you my word, I promise you, this I know, that day will come.”

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