‘Embodiment of America’: Traffic stops as locals pay respects to Sen. John McCain

A firefighter waits on a bridge along Church Road above US 50 in Bowie, Maryland, for Sen. John McCain's funeral procession to pass on its way to the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. (WTOP/Melissa Howell)
A firefighter waits on a bridge along Church Road above US 50 in Bowie, Maryland, for Sen. John McCain’s funeral procession to pass on its way to the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. (WTOP/Melissa Howell) (WTOP/Melissa Howell)
Three best friends were among those who lined the street outside the Naval Academy to pay a final tribute to Sen. McCain. (WTOP/Liz Anderson)
Three best friends were among those who lined the street outside the Naval Academy to pay a final tribute to Sen. McCain. (WTOP/Liz Anderson) (WTOP/Liz Anderson )
Gus Santos said he'd like to give flowers to two of the senator's family members. (WTOP/Liz Anderson)
Gus Santos said he’d like to give flowers to two of the senator’s family members. (WTOP/Liz Anderson) (WTOP/Liz Anderson )
"John McCain is my hero," said Master Sgt. Blake, who served with the U.S. Army for 21 years. Blake is also a Desert Storm veteran. (WTOP/Liz Anderson)
“John McCain is my hero,” said Master Sgt. Blake, who served with the U.S. Army for 21 years. Blake is also a Desert Storm veteran. (WTOP/Liz Anderson) (WTOP/Liz Anderson )
Debbie Rasmussen of Arnold, Maryland, made the 10 minute drive because she was trying to find a way to be a part of honoring Sen. McCain. (WTOP/Liz Anderson) (WTOP/Liz Anderson )
Outside of the U.S. Naval Academy, people were lined up to pay their respects to Sen. McCain. (WTOP/Liz Anderson)
Outside of the U.S. Naval Academy, people were lined up to pay their respects to Sen. McCain. (WTOP/Liz Anderson) (WTOP/Liz Anderson )
Strangers shared fond memories of meeting McCain and what they'll remember most about his life. (WTOP/Liz Anderson)
Strangers shared fond memories of meeting McCain and what they’ll remember most about his life. (WTOP/Liz Anderson) (WTOP/Liz Anderson )
A flag is seen above US 50 at Church Road in Bowie, Maryland, as Sen. John McCain's funeral procession makes its way to the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. (WTOP/Valerie Bonk)
A flag is seen above US 50 at Church Road in Bowie, Maryland, as Sen. John McCain’s funeral procession makes its way to the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. (WTOP/Valerie Bonk) (WTOP/Valerie Bonk)
People wait to say their final goodbyes to Senator John McCain along Church Road above US 50 in Bowie, Maryland.  (WTOP/Melissa Howell)
People wait to say their final goodbyes to Senator John McCain along Church Road above US 50 in Bowie, Maryland. (WTOP/Melissa Howell) (WTOP/Melissa Howell)
A private memorial service for McCain will take place in the U.S. Naval Academy chapel at 2 p.m. The motorcade is expected at 1:45 p.m. (WTOP/Melissa Howell)
People line up on Church Road in Bowie for Sen. John McCain’s funeral procession to pass on its way to the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. (WTOP/Melissa Howell) (WTOP/Melissa Howell)
People wait alongside US 50 for Sen. John McCain's funeral procession as it makes its way to the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. (WTOP/Melissa Howell)
People wait alongside US 50 for Sen. John McCain’s funeral procession as it makes its way to the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. (WTOP/Melissa Howell) (WTOP/Melissa Howell)
Onlookers gather above US 50 to pay their respects to Sen. John McCain as his funeral procession travels to the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. (WTOP/Valerie Bonk)
Onlookers gather above US 50 to pay their respects to Sen. John McCain as his funeral procession travels to the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. (WTOP/Valerie Bonk) (WTOP/Valerie Bonk)
A flag is hoisted above US 50 at Church Road in Bowie, Maryland, as Sen. John McCain's funeral procession makes its way to the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. (Courtesy Janelle Baliko)
A flag is hoisted above US 50 at Church Road in Bowie, Maryland, as Sen. John McCain’s funeral procession makes its way to the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. (Courtesy Janelle Baliko) (Courtesy Janelle Baliko)
Cars line up on US 50 waiting for Sen. John McCain's funeral procession as it travels to the US Naval Academy in Annapolis. (WTOP/Melissa Howell)
Cars line up on US 50 waiting for Sen. John McCain’s funeral procession as it travels to the US Naval Academy in Annapolis. (WTOP/Melissa Howell) (WTOP/Melissa Howell)
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A firefighter waits on a bridge along Church Road above US 50 in Bowie, Maryland, for Sen. John McCain's funeral procession to pass on its way to the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. (WTOP/Melissa Howell)
Three best friends were among those who lined the street outside the Naval Academy to pay a final tribute to Sen. McCain. (WTOP/Liz Anderson)
Gus Santos said he'd like to give flowers to two of the senator's family members. (WTOP/Liz Anderson)
"John McCain is my hero," said Master Sgt. Blake, who served with the U.S. Army for 21 years. Blake is also a Desert Storm veteran. (WTOP/Liz Anderson)
Outside of the U.S. Naval Academy, people were lined up to pay their respects to Sen. McCain. (WTOP/Liz Anderson)
Strangers shared fond memories of meeting McCain and what they'll remember most about his life. (WTOP/Liz Anderson)
A flag is seen above US 50 at Church Road in Bowie, Maryland, as Sen. John McCain's funeral procession makes its way to the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. (WTOP/Valerie Bonk)
People wait to say their final goodbyes to Senator John McCain along Church Road above US 50 in Bowie, Maryland.  (WTOP/Melissa Howell)
A private memorial service for McCain will take place in the U.S. Naval Academy chapel at 2 p.m. The motorcade is expected at 1:45 p.m. (WTOP/Melissa Howell)
People wait alongside US 50 for Sen. John McCain's funeral procession as it makes its way to the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. (WTOP/Melissa Howell)
Onlookers gather above US 50 to pay their respects to Sen. John McCain as his funeral procession travels to the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. (WTOP/Valerie Bonk)
A flag is hoisted above US 50 at Church Road in Bowie, Maryland, as Sen. John McCain's funeral procession makes its way to the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. (Courtesy Janelle Baliko)
Cars line up on US 50 waiting for Sen. John McCain's funeral procession as it travels to the US Naval Academy in Annapolis. (WTOP/Melissa Howell)
September 2, 2018 | Memories of Sen. John McCain shared by strangers (WTOP/Liz Anderson)

WASHINGTON — Sen. John McCain’s funeral procession made its way along the Inner Loop of the Capital Beltway and along US 50 Sunday morning to arrive at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.

A private ceremony was held at 2 p.m. the Naval Academy’s chapel after a procession to the burial site alongside a lifelong friend on a grassy hill at the academy.

People lined the streets outside Gate 8 of the U.S. Naval Academy to bid McCain a final farewell.

“He was the embodiment of America. He’s been a fair and decent man his whole life,” said Bill, who declined to give his last name. Strangers were sharing their fond memories of stories of meeting McCain

“John McCain to me, was just a true American hero,” said Rick Newman, who lives in Annapolis.

September 2, 2018 | Annapolis residents gather to bid farewell to Sen. McCain (WTOP/Liz Anderson )

Many stopped their cars along US 50 to wait for the motorcade to pass on its way to the academy Sunday afternoon and to pay their respects to Sen. McCain.

Fire crews hoisted an American flag along Church Road above US 50 in Bowie, Maryland, with police redirecting onlookers to Church Road, 197 or the footpath along 197.

“It was just a very beautiful and moving processional and the only way I could give Sen. McCain his respects,” said Sandra Nash who was on her way home when she and her mother decided to stop and wait for the motorcade.

“This was a necessary historical thing for us to do,” Nash said.

WTOP’s Liz Anderson and Melissa Howell contributed to this report. 


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