August 28, 2018 3:40 PM EDT

Sen. Lindsey Graham, one of Sen. John McCain’s closest friends, gave him an emotional sendoff on the floor of the Senate on Tuesday.

Fighting back tears, the South Carolina Republican spoke about his personal experiences with McCain touring the Hanoi Hilton where he was held by the North Vietnamese and campaigning unsuccessfully for president in 2008.

“John taught us how to lose,” he said. “When you go throughout the world. People remember his concession speech as much as anything else. There are so many countries where you can’t afford to lose because they’ll kill you. And John said that night, ‘President Obama is now my president.’ So he healed the nation at a time he was hurt.”

In this image from Senate Television, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., speaks on the Senate floor at the Capitol in Washington,, next to the desk of Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., draped in black with a bowl of white roses sitting on it on Aug. 28, 2018.

Along with former Democrat-turned-independent Sen. Joe Lieberman, Graham and McCain were often referred to as the “three amigos” because of their close relationship.

Graham, who also ran unsuccessfully for president in 2016, said that McCain taught him that he was stronger because of his failure.

“To those who are striving as a young person, remember John McCain,” he said. “He failed a lot, but he never quit.”

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