CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
Interview With Sen. John McCain
Aired February 4, 2003 - 14:03 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
MILES O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: We have just witnessed and participated in a rather moving tribute to the Columbia seven astronauts who -- it's hard to believe it was only Saturday we lost them. As I watch, there's been an orderly procession of the dignitaries who have been here, the congressional delegation, delegation from Israel. Obviously, a large dose of the people who work here every day trying to do everything they can to explore the boundaries of space, push the envelope, as they call it, and try to do it with a measure of safety.
Among the people who is here, Senator John McCain, who joins us now. Senator McCain, it's hard to put words in a time like this. You want to try?
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: Well, of course, the families -- it's so moving to see them and their emotions, their sorrow and their pride. I think the president's words were extremely eloquent, and I guess one of the impressions that our viewers don't have is the emotion of all the people who are here, who have volunteered, who work here.
It's clear this is one very big family, a loving family, that is grieving very, very sadly.
O'BRIEN: As we talk, we're looking at some of what happened just a few moments ago. The ringing of the seven bells, the missing man formation. All of the symbolism that, sadly, we at times become familiar with in this country at times of tragedy. And then that stunning missing man formation into that azure blue sky. It really is something.
MCCAIN: I'm always able to control my emotions until the -- although, there were very moving parts of the entire ceremony. I think it was a very dignified, and very proud way to bid farewell to seven American heroes, who are role models to young Americans all over the world, and they have contributed. And I think that's what we all want to do in life.
O'BRIEN: Yes, yes. I keep -- when I read their resumes, and hear about them, I marvel at this country we live in that produces such people.
MCCAIN: And other countries, India, Israel. It's that international flavor added quite a bit to the entire ceremony. I've got to go back to Washington. I don't want to hold up my colleagues.
O'BRIEN: All right. MCCAIN: There is nothing that would make them more angry than me standing here with you and not being able to get back.
O'BRIEN: All right. Senator John McCain, thank you for sharing some words with us at this time.
MCCAIN: Thank you, Miles.
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