SEVERE WX : Flash Flood Watch View Alerts

Military flyover honors John McCain

Sen. John McCain is honored with a "missing man" flyover at the site of his private burial service at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. CNN's Brian Todd reports.

Posted: Sep 4, 2018 6:26 AM
Updated: Sep 4, 2018 6:37 AM

The idea of being buried next to a friend likely never crosses the mind of most Americans.

But for Sen. John McCain and Adm. Chuck Larson and many others, the decision to rest eternally by the side of a fellow military academy graduate is not an unusual choice.

McCain, who died just over a week ago at 81, was buried Sunday afternoon next to Larson, his US Naval Academy classmate and friend, near a bluff that overlooks the confluence of the Severn River and College Creek in Annapolis, Maryland. The ceremony at the academy's nearly seven-acre cemetery was private.

The cemetery reflects other such friendships.

Close to where McCain rests are the remains of another US Navy hero, William B. Cushing, a daredevil officer who led units that were essentially the Navy SEALS of the Civil War, undertaking bold raids and sinking a Confederate ironclad by detonating a torpedo at close range. Near Cushing's elaborate sarcophagus are the graves for two of his friends who attended the academy and were killed during the Civil War.

Although he has not been able to find documents, James Cheevers, retired curator at the Naval Academy Museum, said he believes Cushing, who died at 32 nearly a decade after the war, may have had his pals reinterred in Annapolis so they could be together.

Others who have chosen to be beside friends include World War II Fleet Adm. Chester Nimitz, who is buried near high-ranking academy comrades at Golden Gate National Cemetery just outside San Francisco.

"This is not uncommon," said Cheevers.

Larson and McCain were classmates in the graduating class of 1958. But while Larson graduated toward the top of the class, McCain graduated fifth from the bottom.

The two forged a bond in youth that withstood the test of time, personal and family sacrifice and, in McCain's case, spending more than five years as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam.

Sarah Larson, who was married to Chuck for 52 years before he died in 2014, said she first learned 20 years ago that McCain and her husband wanted to be buried next to one another. The admiral, who twice served as superintendent at the academy, had selected four plots for the officers and their spouses.

"Chuck came home one day and he said, 'I picked out my grave, and I went 'Oh, OK,'" Sarah Larson told CNN's John Berman in an interview on "New Day" on Friday. "So I just said, 'That's fine, good,' and he said, 'By the way, John is going to be next to me.'"

After graduation, McCain and Larson earned their wings together at the Naval Air Station Pensacola and shared living quarters during their advanced flight training at NAS Corpus Christi, before Larson entered submarine service.

"Chuck has his wingman back now," Sarah Larson said.

In October 2017, just three months after his cancer diagnosis was made public, McCain spoke at the Naval Academy and began his talk by admitting to breaking rules during his time there.

"My superiors didn't hold me in very high esteem in those days," the senator said. "Their disapproval was measured in the hundreds of miles of extra duty I marched in my time here."

Cheevers said the midshipmen "love him (and) anybody that gave the academy a hard time, particularly in the plebe year."

(Cushing -- the Civil War hero -- also was known as a prankster and maverick. But, unlike McCain, he was forced to leave the academy and did not graduate.)

The McCain procession on Sunday passed other US Navy heroes, many of whom died in combat or in military accidents. Among those buried at the academy are Adm. James Stockdale and Fleet Adm. Ernest King, chief of naval operations during World War II.

To some, it may be ironic that McCain was laid to rest at an institution with which he admitted to having a "complicated relationship."

Cheevers, the retired museum curator, said the Arizona senator's description of his time at Annapolis speaks for many academy graduates.

"Most of them ... find it very difficult while they are there to accept the place, to be accustomed to it and be happy," Cheevers said. He has observed that most form a strong attachment to the academy after they leave it.

Over the years, McCain came to appreciate his Naval Academy education and lessons about courage, humility and sacrifice.

"My appreciation for those lessons and for the friendships I made here bring me back often," he told midshipmen last year. "So does my gratitude for the life of adventure the Naval Academy prepared me for, and for the privilege of being a bit player in the story of America that the Navy made possible."

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 752108

Reported Deaths: 13816
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1033831790
Lake558431013
Allen41736693
St. Joseph37007565
Hamilton36617417
Elkhart29425461
Tippecanoe22938228
Vanderburgh22565400
Porter19369327
Johnson18486389
Hendricks17696317
Clark13233195
Madison13176344
Vigo12631253
LaPorte12429221
Monroe12226176
Delaware10970198
Howard10349224
Kosciusko9643121
Hancock8578147
Bartholomew8174157
Warrick7864156
Floyd7815180
Grant7248179
Wayne7164201
Boone6979103
Morgan6768141
Dubois6224118
Marshall6214116
Cass6024110
Henry5903110
Dearborn589878
Noble581688
Jackson509476
Shelby502396
Lawrence4753122
Gibson445595
Clinton443555
Harrison441775
DeKalb440385
Montgomery439890
Whitley406744
Huntington403381
Steuben400859
Miami395769
Jasper389155
Knox377691
Putnam373461
Wabash362383
Ripley347370
Adams345555
Jefferson336186
White332753
Daviess3035100
Wells295481
Decatur289892
Greene286885
Fayette284864
Posey274335
LaGrange273272
Scott270356
Clay267148
Washington246336
Randolph245183
Jennings235349
Spencer234531
Starke228159
Fountain222048
Sullivan214843
Owen212358
Fulton204043
Jay201032
Carroll193820
Orange188255
Perry187237
Rush175926
Vermillion175344
Franklin170435
Tipton166646
Parke149616
Pike138334
Blackford136232
Pulaski120847
Newton114936
Brown104443
Benton102614
Crawford102516
Martin91815
Warren84115
Switzerland8158
Union72810
Ohio57911
Unassigned0424

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1109697

Reported Deaths: 20213
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1289521469
Cuyahoga1158802216
Hamilton814201251
Montgomery525861049
Summit484551006
Lucas43384824
Butler39098606
Stark33355930
Lorain25689506
Warren24612305
Mahoning22388602
Lake21219389
Clermont20138253
Delaware18892136
Licking16671225
Fairfield16589204
Trumbull16560483
Medina15618273
Greene15292248
Clark14244306
Wood13296200
Portage13254216
Allen11919239
Richland11611211
Miami10857225
Wayne9153225
Columbiana9039230
Muskingum8909135
Pickaway8664122
Tuscarawas8654251
Marion8649139
Erie8058165
Ashtabula7171179
Hancock6999133
Ross6948163
Geauga6850151
Scioto6540106
Belmont6159174
Union585049
Lawrence5741102
Jefferson5683159
Huron5554122
Sandusky5444126
Darke5420129
Seneca5350128
Washington5321109
Athens524460
Auglaize502487
Mercer487785
Shelby477095
Knox4573112
Madison444566
Ashland435997
Putnam4336104
Defiance432399
Fulton432274
Crawford4046110
Brown402761
Logan387678
Preble3859105
Clinton379266
Ottawa373581
Highland360266
Williams348578
Champaign344959
Guernsey325254
Jackson318454
Perry297350
Morrow291940
Fayette285750
Hardin275765
Henry273867
Holmes2703101
Coshocton269360
Van Wert247264
Adams243156
Pike242835
Gallia240850
Wyandot234756
Hocking220663
Carroll197548
Paulding176642
Meigs148540
Monroe136345
Noble136239
Harrison114138
Morgan110124
Vinton85717
Unassigned03
Fort Wayne
Cloudy
77° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 79°
Angola
Cloudy
73° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 73°
Huntington
Cloudy
76° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 78°
Decatur
Cloudy
77° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 79°
Van Wert
Mostly Cloudy
80° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 81°
Daily rounds of showers and thunderstorms will increase the flood threat across northeast Indiana and northwest Ohio.
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events