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Video: President Joe Biden, Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine Eulogize Former Senator John Warner as “Great American,” “Great Virginian” Deeply Committed to Our Country and Our Democracy

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See below for video of the funeral this morning for former Senator John Warner (R) at Washington National Cathedral. The ceremony for John Warner, who died at his Alexandria home on May 25 at the age of 94, included eulogies by President Joe Biden, Admiral Michael Mullin, and U.S. Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine. A few highlights from their remarks include:

  • President Biden called John Warner “a man of conscience, character and honor, with deep commitment to God and country… a towering and respected voice on foreign policy, national security, and defense…a member of the greatest generation…[who] understood that democracy is more than a form of government, democracy is a way of being…the willingness to see each other as opponents not as enemies, above all to see each other as fellow Americans, even when we disagree – from John’s perspective, especially when we disagree.”
  • Sen. Mark Warner called John Warner a “great American, a great Virginian…a great friend…a statesman…public servant…patriot.” Sen. Warner added that John Warner was truly his good friend – “not in the way that sometimes we in the Senate like to call somebody you cannot stand ‘my friend’ on the floor of the Senate. I mean he was my actual, honest-to-God personal friend; we cared deeply about each other.” Sen. Warner said that even after he ran against John Warner for U.S. Senate, John Warner didn’t hold it against Mark Warner, but they built a friendship. And, “more than that,” John Warner “could always be trusted to put country and Commonwealth ahead of politics,” including when Mark Warner was governor, when then-Sen. John Warner was willing to help then-Gov. Mark Warner work with the Virginia General Assembly to close a large budget gap – and “that would not have happened if John Warner had not been willing to put his own personal capital on the line for what he thought was right for Virginia.”
  • Sen. Tim Kaine talked about John Warner’s 75-year friendship with Kaine’s father-in-law, Linwood Holton. Among other things, Holton and Warner worked to build the Republican Party of Virginia, so Virginia wouldn’t be a one-party state (back then, conservative “Byrd machine” Democrats…VERY different than today, needless to say!). Sen. Kaine said he was most impressed about John Warner’s belief that “country and character count about all else,” and that Warner would help Kaine – even though they were from different parties – if he thought it was the right thing to do. Sen. Kaine said John Warner was “deeply saddened by the assault on our democracy” on 1/6, adding that we all should step up to defend America, as John Warner did. Sen. Kaine told a story about how, after he was first elected to the Senate, he invited John Warner to have lunch, and “I have never felt this popular in the United States Senate as the day I walked into the dining room with John Warner – and I doubt I ever WILL feel as popular. Everyone flocked to our table. His smile, his laugh, his relaxed banter told me that surrounded by his friends, he felt completely at home.” Sen. Kaine concluded, emotionally – “well old friend, today you’re at home.”

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