Former President George W Bush gave a moving eulogy to Arizona Senator John McCain, where he described their friendship as 'one of life's greatest gifts'
Former President George W Bush remembered his friend John McCain in a moving tribute to both the man's service to the country, and his service as a friend to all.
Addressing the Washington National Cathedral on Saturday, Bush spoke about McCain's military history and his great work as a senator, and his lasting legacy.
'A man who seldom rested is laid to rest, and his absence is tangible, like the silence after a mighty roar,' he said.
'The thing about John's life was the amazing sweep of it. From a tiny prison cell to the floor of the US Senate. From trouble-making plebe to Presidential candidate.
'In one life was written the courage and greatness of our country.'
The pair became friends after the race for the 2000 Presidential nomination.
During the race, horrible smear campaigns aimed at McCain's children and family, launched while the Arizona man was topping the polls, took him out of the running for the top job, and it's been reported the rumors left him in 'a dark place'.
Bush said McCain's life was a reflection of 'the courage and greatness of our country' during his speech at the Washington National Cathedral on Saturday morning
Bush said his friendship with McCain, which came after the bitterness of the 2000 election had dissipated, was 'one of life's great gifts'.
The former Republican leader said the pair still constantly quarreled, and McCain wouldn't ease off just because he was fighting with the leader of the free world.
'He was honest, no matter who it offended,' he said.
'Presidents were not spared. He was honorable, always recognizing that his opponents were patriots and human beings.'
Bush said McCain was a 'man with a code, who lived by a set of public virtues that brought strength and purpose to his life and to his country'.
'He was courageous with a courage that frightened his captors and inspired his countrymen,' he said.
Bush and McCain had a rocky start to their relationship, as they fought a bitter race for the republican nomination for President in 2000 (pictured in 2008 after Bush endorsed McCain for President)
'He loved freedom, with the passion of a man who knew its absence.
'He respected the dignity in every life, a dignity that did not stop at borders and could not be swiped by dictators.
Concluding his speech, he said he suspected McCain would not be one to dwell on the sadness of his own passing - and would want others to move forward with the boundless energy he always displayed.
'One of his books ends with the words "I moved on",' Bush said.
'John has moved on, he would probably not want us to dwell on it.
'We will remember him as he was: unwavering undimmed, unequal.'
Bush says McCain should be remembered as 'unwavering undimmed, unequal'