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Senators and representatives pay their respects to President Ronald Reagan during a service at the US Capitol Rotunda in June 2004.

Senators and representatives pay their respects to President Ronald Reagan during a service at the US Capitol Rotunda in June 2004.

US Navy File Photo
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Paying Your Respects to John McCain: What You Need to Know

Sen. John S. McCain III will lie in state at the US Capitol on Friday, likely drawing tens of thousands of colleagues, staff and members of the public.

A ceremony will take place in the US Capitol Rotunda at approximately 11 am honoring the life and service of McCain, who died Aug. 25 after battling brain cancer for more than a year.

John McCain

John McCain

File Photo

Public Viewing - Friday

At the conclusion of the formal ceremony, members of the public are invited to pay their respects as the late senator lies in state for the remainder of the day. All visitors must enter through the Capitol Visitor Center and will be directed to the Rotunda to pay their respects between the hours of 1 pm and 8 pm ET.

Getting to the Capitol Visitor Center

Here’s a useful map of the US Capitol relative to other features on the eastern end of the National Mall.

There are three Metro stops found within walking distance of the Capitol:

  • Union Station: Located at First Street, NW, and Massachusetts Avenue.
  • Capitol South: Located at First Street between C and D Streets, SE.
  • Federal Center SW: Located at the southwest corner of Third and D Streets, SW.

By bus, there are two DC Circulator routes featuring stops at the US Capitol: Union Station–Navy Yard and National Mall Route.

Not Much Parking

We don’t recommend driving directly to the viewing, since there are few nearby parking spaces available to the general public. The nearest public parking facility is at Union Station, to the north of the Capitol. Metered street parking is found along the Mall to the west of the Capitol.

Road Closures

For the memorial service, authorities will close First Street from Constitution Avenue NE to Independence Avenue NE and East Capitol Street from First Street NE/SE to Second Street NE/SE.

Prohibited Items

There’s a laundry list of items you can’t bring to the Capitol. Use common sense and expect a long wait as tens of thousands pay their respects.

Candlelight Vigil - Friday Night

Beginning at 7:30 pm Friday, there will be a candlelight vigil held in McCain’s honor at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Attendees will gather at the flagpole by the Three Servicemen Statue, get a candle and proceed individually to The Wall. The ceremony will conclude at 8:30 pm with the playing of “Taps.”

Public Procession and Memorial Service - Saturday

A public procession is scheduled to begin at 8:30 am from the Capitol to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, where McCain’s widow will lay a wreath for fallen Vietnam veterans. A memorial service is scheduled for 10 am Saturday at the Washington National Cathedral. McCain will be laid to rest Sunday in a private ceremony at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis.

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