New York political leaders joined the chorus of lawmakers paying tribute on Sunday to Sen. John McCain, the son of naval royalty who spent five years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam and later was a Republican presidential nominee.
As part of the tribute to McCain, who died Saturday at his Arizona home after a yearlong battle with brain cancer, New York's senior U.S. senator, Democrat Chuck Schumer, said he will introduce a resolution renaming the Russell Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill in honor of McCain so "generations in the Senate and in the world remember him."
"I’d like decades from now little children to ask their parents, ‘Who is John McCain?’ And they’ll explain his sacrifice, his patriotism and most of all his fidelity to do the right thing as he saw it," Schumer said on Sunday at an unrelated news conference in Manhattan.
Other New York officials vowed gestures of respect for McCain.
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo ordered flags on all state government buildings be flown at half-staff in honor of McCain until his funeral.
"He was a warrior and a statesman, in the old-fashioned sense,” Cuomo said in a statement.
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, a Democrat, announced flags at county facilities would fly at half-staff to honor McCain who "served this great nation with both honor and distinction."
Rep. Peter King (R- Seaford), in an email to supporters, called McCain "a friend" and "a true patriot and a man of unsurpassed integrity."
McCain's body will lie in state at the Arizona State Capitol building on Wednesday, followed by a memorial service in Phoenix on Thursday, according to McCain's website. The senator will then be honored in the nation's capital -- his body will lie in state in the Capitol Rotunda on Friday followed by a national memorial service on Saturday at the Washington National Cathedral where former presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama are expected to eulogize McCain.
McCain's death spurred an outpouring of praise for the Naval Academy graduate, wartime fighter pilot and member of Congress, first in the House and later as a senator representing Arizona, for more than three decades.
In his final days, McCain “expressed optimism ... that leaders would rise to the fore in the future who would put the good of the country above themselves,” said Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) during an appearance on CNN’s "State of the Union."
Flake, a frequent critic of President Donald Trump, said McCain, who also challenged Trump’s policies and rhetoric, was a voice that was “certainly needed” during the past year.
“His voice was important … has been for years, but never more important than the past year,” Flake said. “So it's tough to have a voice like that silenced … this voice for civility, to put the country above your party.”
Last July, McCain cast the decisive thumbs-down “no” vote that derailed Trump’s push to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Trump often referenced the vote when taking shots at McCain during campaign-style rallies in the past year. The president has often drawn criticism for taking aim at a decorated Navy veteran who was held captive and tortured for more than five years by North Vietnamese forces.
Trump on Saturday tweeted his condolences to McCain’s family, but stopped short of delivering direct remarks about the senator. On Sunday morning, the president tweeted about the economy, hailing “fantastic numbers” as he was shuttled from the White House to his golf course in Sterling, Virginia.
On "Fox News Sunday", former Arizona Republican Sen. Jon Kyl said McCain’s legacy will include his mentorship of new senators and his “commitment to national security of the United States.”
Kyl, who has been mentioned as a possible replacement for McCain, called the appointment decision by Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey “an awesome responsibility. The key thing is to try to continue representation of the state of Arizona, and representation of all the United States” on foreign affairs issues.
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi told ABC’s “This Week” that McCain would be remembered as “a source of great strength to our country.”
New York GOP chairman Edward F. Cox, who served as chairman of McCain’s 2008 New York presidential campaign, recalled seeing “up close his fighting spirit and courage.”
"Whether at war, or in politics, or representing America abroad," Cox said, "no one fought harder with more courage and honor for his country and its ideals than John McCain.”
With Vincent Barone
Sen. John McCain's Memorial and Services
McCain will lie in state at the Arizona State Capitol
Open to the Public
Arizona Memorial Service at North Phoenix Baptist Church, 10 a.m.
McCain will lie in state at the U.S. Capitol Rotunda
An 11 a.m. ceremony will take place and at the conclusion of the ceremony the public is invited to pay their respects from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.
National Memorial Service at the Washington National Cathedral
The 10 a.m. service will be for invitees only, but will be livestreamed