Arizona athletes to have prominent roles at McCain service

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Arizona Senator John McCain died on Saturday at the age of 81 following a yearlong battle with brain cancer.

In his adopted state of Arizona, where he lived for well over 30 years, McCain will lay in state in the state capitol on Wednesday and on Thursday, there will be a funeral service at North Phoenix Baptist Church. John McCain arrived at Arizona's Capitol today for the first of two services before he is taken for the last time from the state he has represented since the 1980s.

The ceremony will include remarks from Gov Doug Ducey and former US Sen Jon Kyl, plus a benediction from Sen Jeff Flake.

Veteran Judith Hatch handed out flags to those assembled, saying Arizona lost a champion for the military.

Other military members in uniform congregated on the Capitol Plaza.

"We definitely have lost a strong advocate, so we'll need someone who is going to step up to the plate", Ms Hatch said. His love for life was contagious and his passion for his family, state, country and Arizona sports teams left you optimistic and energized.

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Crews spent the past several days prepping the Capitol for the visitors, hauling in chairs, cleaning up the building and assembling dozens of flags.

Fitzgerald penned a tribute to McCain last Christmas and visited the ailing senator at his Sedona ranch earlier this year.

Arizona Cardinals star receiver Larry Fitzgerald is scheduled to speak at the service and former Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Luis Gonzalez will serve as a pallbearer.

From there, McCain will depart Arizona from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

He will be buried in Annapolis at the U.S. Naval Academy Cemetery on September 2, according to an announcement from his office.

A website laying out details for the services says to send any flowers to a local Veterans Administration hospital.

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