It Doesn’t Happen Very Often. But John McCain Will Lie in State

He’ll be the first person to receive the honor since 2012

A slightly frayed flag flies at the U.S. Capitol at half staff on Sunday, the morning after Sen. John McCain’s passing. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell confirmed Sunday that Sen. John McCain will be granted the honor of lying in state in the Capitol Rotunda.

McConnell made the announcement in coordination with other top congressional leaders. No date was immediately announced.

[What You Should Know About John McCain]

“The nation mourns the loss of a great American patriot, a statesman who put his country first and enriched this institution through many years of service. The Senate is keeping Cindy, the McCain family, all John’s friends and staff, and the people of Arizona in our prayers at this tremendously difficult time,” the Kentucky Republican said in a statement. “I appreciate my colleagues and the entire Senate and House family’s assistance with this honor.”

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McCain will become the first person to receive the formal honor of lying in state in the Rotunda upon the Lincoln catafalque since another American military hero who later became a senator, Daniel K. Inouye of Hawaii, in 2012.

The Rev. Billy Graham was able to lie in honor in the Capitol at the end of February and beginning of March this year.

Both honors generally require the concurrence of both chambers of Congress.

Watch: A Look Back at McCain’s Congressional Career

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