Joe Biden Gets Choked Up Remembering John McCain ... At Memorial Service

8/30/2018 9:30 AM PDT

Joe Biden Gets Choked Up Remembering John McCain at Memorial Service

Joe Biden got choked up remembering his friend and "brother" John McCain as friends, family and admirers gathered to celebrate his life at a memorial service Thursday.

Biden took the floor at North Phoenix Baptist Church and spoke of McCain's honesty, determination and dedication. He even referred to McCain as his brother ... mentioning a lot of "family fights." Biden also served as a pallbearer for the service.

The late senator's family and friends -- along with local and tribal officials as well as civic leaders from across the state -- attended ... and 1,000 seats were made available to the public.

After the motorcade arrived, the Arizona National Guard retrieved the casket and placed it in front of the church.

Later Thursday, McCain's casket will be transported to D.C. where family, friends, colleagues and staff will pour into the U.S. Capitol Rotunda for a private ceremony honoring McCain's life. When the formal ceremony ends, the public will have a chance to also pay their respects. Doors to the public open at 2 PM ET and are slated to stay open until 8 PM ET.

McCain's National Memorial Service will be held Saturday at 10 AM ET at the Washington National Cathedral. Former presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush -- both former political rivals of McCain -- are set to deliver eulogies at his request.

Actor Warren Beatty, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and former Secretary of Defense William Cohen were also pallbearers.

President Trump will not attend McCain's funeral after being made persona non grata, and McCain's former running mate in 2008, Sarah Palin, has also reportedly not been invited.

Since his death, heartfelt tributes from celebrities and fellow politicians have poured in for McCain ... including from Sen. Lindsey Graham, who told us he vows to do better to honor his friend.

There's also been a push to rename the Russell Senate Office Building the McCain Senate Office Building, spearheaded by Sen. Chuck Schumer.

On Wednesday morning, the Arizona Army National Guard carried McCain's casket into the AZ State Capitol Museum rotunda for a private ceremony for family and colleagues ... including remarks by Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey.

McCain's wife, Cindy, and daughter, Meghanwere both very emotional at the sight of his casket.

The late Senator was the third person to lie in the rotunda in the last 40 years ... Arizona state Senator Marilyn Jarrett and Olympic gold medalist Jesse Owens were the others.