Aug. 31 (UPI) -- Sen. John McCain's colleagues celebrated his life during a ceremony Friday at the U.S. Capitol Rotunda, praising his "fighting spirit" and "irreverent streak."
Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky was the first to speak, welcoming dozens of congressional leaders and friends and family of the late senator from Arizona.
"Generations of Americans will continue to marvel at the man who lies before us: The cocky, handsome naval aviator who barely scraped through school, but then fought for freedom in the skies ... Who witnessed to our highest values even through terrible torture ... And who became a generational leader in the United States Senate, where our nation airs its great debates," McConnell said.
"At any moment, he might be preparing an eloquent reflection on human liberty ... or a devastating joke, served up with his signature cackle and that John McCain glint in his eye.
"He had America's fighting spirit, our noble idealism, our solemn patriotism, and our slightly irreverent streak -- all rolled into one."
"We share your anguish in losing this great man," Ryan said, addressing McCain's family -- wife Cindy McCain, mother Roberta McCain, children Doug, Andy, Sidney, Meghan, Jack, Jimmy and Bridget, and brother Joe McCain.
A similar ceremony took place Wednesday at the Arizona State Capitol in Phoenix, where McCain also lay in state. Former Vice President Joe Biden gave a tearful eulogy at a service Thursday at a Phoenix church.
A Capitol Police Guard of Honor will be posted by McCain's casket as it remains in the U.S. Capitol overnight. On Saturday morning at 8:30, a motorcade will take the casket to Washington National Cathedral, stopping at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.