Five days of national mourning for Sen. John McCain came to a close Sunday afternoon on a sloping green hillside overlooking Maryland's Severn River and near the hallowed halls where the Arizona politician's life of public service began as a plebe -- the U.S. Naval Academy.
McCain was buried in a plot at the academy's cemetery shaded by sycamore and maple trees next to his best friend, U.S. Navy Adm. Charles "Chuck" Larson, and surrounded by the graves of military leaders and war heroes.
Following a private 2 p.m. ET burial service at the Naval Academy Chapel, McCain's final wish -- one he wrote about in his memoir, "The Restless Wave: Good Times, Just Causes, Great Fights, and Other Appreciations" -- was fulfilled.
Christal Hayes/USA Today NetworkThe burial plot of Sen. John McCain is marked with two wooden stakes and an orange cone at the U.S. Naval Academy Cemetery on Aug. 25, 2018, in Annapolis, Md.
"I want to watch the hawks hunt from the sycamore, and then take my leave bound for a place near my old friend Chuck Larson, in the cemetery on the Severn, back where it began," McCain wrote.
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As a hearse carrying McCain's casket entered the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, hundreds of people lined the streets, many waving American flags, some saluting the one-time Navy aviator.
At 4 p.m., as McCain's body was laid to rest, a squadron of military jets flew over the cemetery in so-called "missing man" formation.
About 20 years ago, retired Navy Capt. Jo Dee Jacob was tasked with the duty of finding the plot in the 150-year-old cemetery. The orders came from Jacob's boss, Larson.
"He said find me four plots at the Naval Academy Cemetery where John and I and Cindy and Sally can be buried together," Jacob, referring to the wives of McCain and Lawson, told ABC affiliate KGTV in San Diego.
"So we went out there and there was nothing left," Jacob said.
Susan Walsh/APThe casket of Sen. John McCain is carried out of the Washington National Cathedral in Washington, Sept. 1, 2018, after a memorial service, as Cindy McCain is escorted by her son Jimmy McCain and other family members.
Not to be deterred, Jacob went about seeking to have some of the reserved plots rearranged to accommodate the wishes of Larson, who died in 2014.
"Just like a Rubik's cube, we started moving people here and there ... and we started calling people that had a reservation for this spot," Jacob told KGTV.
"When people of that stature have an opportunity to think ahead and wanting to be together it really is a statement of friendship and support and integrity," said Jacobs, whose father served with McCain's father, U.S. Navy Adm. John Sydney McCain Jr., on submarines during World War II.
McCain died on Aug. 25 at his home in Sedona, Arizona, following a year-long battle with glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer. He was 81.
Eric Thayer/ReutersAn Honor Guard carries the casket of the late Sen. John McCain from the Washington National Cathedral in Washington, Sept. 1, 2018.
Thousands of Arizonans on Wednesday flocked to the state Capitol Building in Phoenix, where the Republican senator laid in state.
SLIDESHOW: Photos: America mourns Senator John McCain
During a memorial service on Friday at the North Phoenix Baptist Church, McCain's good friend former Vice President Joe Biden, a long-time Democrat, gave an emotional eulogy, saying, "All politics is personal. It's all about trust. I trusted John with my life... and I think he would trust me with his."
The flag-draped coffin holding McCain's body was flown to Washington, D.C., aboard Air Force Two, the plane reserved for the vice president. On Friday, he was honored by House and Senate members from both sides of the political aisle as he laid in state in the rotunda of the U.S. Capitol Building.
On Saturday, friends, family and political leaders, including three former presidents, filled the Washington National Cathedral for McCain's funeral service.
"The thing about John's life was the amazing sweep of it," former President George W. Bush said during his eulogy to McCain.
Bush recounted McCain's more than five years in a prisoner of war camp in Vietnam to his six terms in the U.S. Senate.