"It's unforgiving. And it takes so much from those we love and from the families who love them that in order to survive, we have to remember how they lived, not how they died", Biden said of the cancer.
"Many people might wonder what a young, African American kid from Minnesota and a highly decorated Vietnam War hero-turned-United States Senator might have in common", Fitzgerald said, via the Cardinals' official website.
At the church, a choir from the Jesuit-run Brophy College Preparatory school that two of McCain's sons attended sang "Amazing Grace".
Email a copy of "Dermer to Represent Israel at Upcoming Memorials for Late Sen". John McCain's casket is driving in a motorcade along a Phoenix highway on its way to the memorial service for the longtime Republican senator and two-time presidential candidate.
The church's senior pastor, Noe Garcia, pronounced McCain "a true American hero".
"I've done everything that they requested and, no, I don't think I have at all", he said in response to a question about whether he had made a mistake and missed an opportunity to unite the country. The Democrat brought a bouquet of flowers and said she had always looked up to McCain and voted for him.
Touching on his own losses, of his first wife and daughter, who died in a auto accident in 1972, and his son Beau in 2015, he counseled the McCain family on how to soldier on through their grief, and compared loss to "being sucked into a black hole inside your chest".
The recessional music will be Frank Sinatra's signature song, "My Way", paying tribute to a man who became known for following his own path based on his personal principles.
Trump, who in the past has mocked McCain's war record, said he sent his "deepest sympathies and respect".
Twenty-four sitting USA senators, four former senators and other leaders were among those expected at Thursday's memorial.
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Meghan was heartbroken to have to leave her dog Bogart, a Labrador-German Shepherd mix in Toronto when she moved to the UK. When she was just 14 years old, Priscilla Beaulieu met Elvis Presley for the first time.
McCain's body was then flown to Washington DC for a lying-in-state at the US Capitol on Friday, a service on Saturday and burial at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, on Sunday.
As the 11-vehicle motorcade with a 17-motorcycle police escort made its way toward the church, people along the 8-mile (13-kilometer) route held signs that read simply "McCain", and cars on the other side of the highway stopped or slowed to a crawl in apparent tribute.
The Arizona Department of Public Safety honor guard carried the casket of Sen.
A few firefighters saluted from atop a fire engine parked on an overpass as the motorcade passed underneath on Interstate 17.
But I pray you take some comfort knowing that because you shared John with all of us, your whole life, the world, now shares with you the ache of John's death.
USA TODAY is providing extended coverage of McCain's memorial events, including Thursday's private service in Phoenix. Meghan McCain, his daughter, leaned into the casket and wept.
Members of the Arizona National Guard escorted McCain's wife, Cindy, and the rest of his family from the Arizona State Capitol Building, where mourners had gathered to pay respects to the state's late senator on Wednesday.
Biden's son Beau died from the same form of brain cancer as McCain and Sen.
None of the speakers at the North Phoenix Baptist Church on Thursday uttered Trump's name. His fight: "legendary. But what made Senator McCain so special was he cared about the substance of my heart rather than where I came from".
McCain's career in elected office spanned 35 years, from his first election to the House of Representatives in 1982 to his three decades serving in the U.S. Senate.