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Joe Biden remembers late Sen. John Warner as 'man of conscience'

President Joe Biden speaks at the funeral service for Sen. John Warner at Washington National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday. Photo by Oliver Contreras/UPI
President Joe Biden speaks at the funeral service for Sen. John Warner at Washington National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday. Photo by Oliver Contreras/UPI | License Photo

June 23 (UPI) -- President Joe Biden remembered his former Senate colleague, John Warner, who represented Virginia for five terms, as "a man of conscience, character and honor" during his funeral service Wednesday.

Biden was among several speakers at Washington National Cathedral to memorialize Warner nearly a month after his death.

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"While we represented different political parties, I can say without hesitation that John was a man of conscience, character and honor, with a deep commitment to God and country," the president said.

Biden and Warner served in the Senate at roughly the same time, with the former leaving in 2009 to become vice president and the latter retiring the same year. Biden praised the Republican for his efforts to work with Democrats such as himself; Warner endorsed Biden for president in the 2020 election.

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The White House said Biden met with Warner's family before the funeral, which first lady Jill Biden also attended.

"In a battle for the soul of America today, John Warner is a reminder of what we can do when we come together as one nation.

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Warner died at his Alexandria, Va., home May 25 at the age of 94.

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The secretary of the U.S. Navy between 1972 and 1974, Warner held the second-longest tenure for a Virginia senator, serving five terms between 1979 and 2009. He helped plan the United States' Bicentennial celebration in 1976 and was known for pushing back against his party's increasing conservative tone.

Warner served as undersecretary of the Navy for three years before he was promoted to secretary in the administration of President Richard Nixon. His naval oversight tenure occurred at the height of the Vietnam War.

Before that, he was an enlisted sailor during World War II and then served as a Marine Corps officer during the Korean War.

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Also in attendance at the funeral Wednesday were Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Sens. Tim Kaine, D-Va., Mark Warner, D-Va., John Thune, R-S.D., and Patrick Leahy, D-Vt.

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Edwin Edwards answers questions before the Jefferson Jackson dinner at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in New Orleans on August 9, 2014. The former four-term governor of Louisiana died from respiratory failure on July 12 at the age of 93. Photo by A.J. Sisco/UPI | License Photo

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