In another moment, he drew a smile from Cindy McCain as he recalled the senator joking to him during one of their final conversations. Attendees included three of McCain's onetime Republican colleagues from Arizona's congressional delegation - retiring Senator Jeff Flake, former Senator Jon Kyl and former Congressman James Kolbe.
McCain will lie in state at the U.S. Capitol on Friday, where the public may pay their respects.
Mr Ducey said Arizona residents knew they could follow Mr McCain, who served in Vietnam as a Navy pilot and was captured as a prisoner of war, because he was trusted and tested, qualities that are in short supply. "It's just not natural". She paused briefly, stooping down to rest her cheek on the coffin, then patted it gently.
McCain was beloved among many Vietnamese-Americans for his history of fighting alongside the South Vietnamese and for supporting the families of political detainees, said Derrick Nguyen, who was with the group.
The Latest on the first of two days of services in Arizona to honor Sen.
During the ceremony, Gov. Doug Ducey praised McCain for his dedication to his country.
There's bipartisan support to change the name of the Richard Russell Senate Office Building to honor Sen. Arizona and US flags encircled the room. McCain is to be buried at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, on Sunday.
A group of motorcyclists parked their bikes in the lot behind the Capitol Wednesday morning two hours before the ceremony was scheduled to begin.
Doan, who retired after the 2016-17 National Hockey League campaign following a 21-season career with the Winnipeg Jets/Arizona Coyotes, was asked to be part of the service on Thursday. The single mom and Democrat brought a bouquet of flowers and said she had always looked up to McCain.
Irene Campbell, whose late husband also fought in Vietnam, was also among those in line.
"Nothing will overcome the loss of Senator McCain", Schumer said, "but so that generations remember him I will be introducing a resolution to rename the Russell building after him".
"You think about those 60-plus years and everything he's done from his time served as a POW to all the years in the senate, the things he's done her for the great state of Arizona - and to be able to do that in five or six minutes is extremely hard".
"Let us go now from this place in peace and comforting one another in the sure knowledge that one day we will join John in his home in Heaven", Father Reese said.