"What better way to get a last laugh than to make George [Bush] and I say nice things about him to a national audience. And most of all, it showed a largeness of spirit, an ability to see past differences in search of common ground."
"John understood, as JFK understood, as Ronald Reagan understood, that part of what makes our country great is that our membership is based not on our bloodline, not on what we look like, what our last names are, it's not based on where our parents or grandparents came from, or how recently they arrived, but on adherence to a common creed: that all of us are created equal, endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights."
"So much of our politics, our public life, our public discourse can seem small and mean and petty, trafficking in bombast and insult and phony controversies and manufactured outrage. It's a politics that pretends to be brave and tough, but in fact is born of fear. John called on us to be bigger than that. He called on us to be better than that."
GEORGE W. BUSH
"In recent years, we sometimes talked of that intense period like football players remembering a big game. In the process, rivalry melted away. In the end, I got to enjoy one of life's great gifts: the friendship of John McCain. And I will miss him."
"He respected the dignity inherent in every life - a dignity that does not stop at borders and cannot be erased by dictators. Perhaps above all, John detested the abuse of power. He could not abide bigots and swaggering despots. There was something deep inside him that made him stand up for the little guy - to speak for forgotten people in forgotten places."
"If we are ever tempted to forget who we are, to grow weary of our cause, John's voice will always come as a whisper over our shoulder: We are better than this. America is better than this."
"He was a great man. We gather to mourn the passing of American greatness, the real thing, not cheap rhetoric from men who will never come near the sacrifice, those that live lives of comfort and privilege while he suffered and served."
"He was a great fire who burned bright. In the past few days, my family and I have heard from so many of those Americans who stood in the warmth and light of his fire and found it illuminated what's best about them. We are grateful to them because they're grateful to him. A few have resented that fire for the light it cast upon them, for the truth it revealed about their character, but my father never cared what they thought, and even that small number still have the opportunity as long as they draw breath to live up to the example of John McCain."
“It is good to remember we are Americans. We don't put our heroes on pedestals just to remember them; we raise them up because we want to emulate their virtues. This is how we honor them, this is how we will honor you."