The US senator John McCain, a celebrated war hero known for reaching across the aisle in an increasingly divided America, died Saturday following a battle with brain cancer surrounded by his family and friend. He was 81 and would have turned 82 on August 29.
A statement from his office read,”Senator John Sidney McCain III died at 4:28 pm on August 25, 2018. With the senator when he passed were his wife Cindy and their family. At his death, he had served the United States of America faithfully for 60 years.”
A Family Man
My heart is broken. I am so lucky to have lived the adventure of loving this incredible man for 38 years. He passed the way he lived, on his own terms, surrounded by the people he loved, in the the place he loved best.
— Cindy McCain (@cindymccain) August 26, 2018
I love you forever – my beloved father @SenJohnMcCain pic.twitter.com/Y50tVQvlVe
— Meghan McCain (@MeghanMcCain) August 26, 2018
A Navy Man
Senator John McCain’s remarkable record of leadership embodies his unwavering lifetime commitment to service. The son and grandson of distinguished Navy Admirals, Senator McCain graduated from the Naval Academy in 1958, and served as a Naval Aviator for 22 years, including in North Vietnam during the Vietnam War.
Honored to visit USS John S McCain in Cam Rahn Bay #Vietnam, named for my dad & grandfather, 1st father-son to attain 4-star admiral rank pic.twitter.com/elLFUXw5Ca
— John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) June 2, 2017
On October 26, 1967, during Senator McCain’s 23rd bombing mission over North Vietnam, a missile struck his plane and forced him to eject, knocking him unconscious and breaking both his arms and his leg.
Senator McCain was taken as a prisoner of war into the now-infamous “Hanoi Hilton,” where he was denied needed medical treatment and subjected to years of torture by the North Vietnamese. He spent much of his time as a prisoner of war in solitary confinement, aided by his faith and the friendships of his fellow POWs.
When he was finally released and able to return home years later, Senator McCain continued his service by regaining his naval flight status.His last Navy duty assignment was to serve as the naval liaison to the United States Senate. He retired from the Navy in 1981. His naval honors include the Silver Star, Bronze Star, Legion of Merit, Purple Heart, and the Distinguished Flying Cross.
Senator McCain was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from Arizona in 1982 and elected to the United States Senate in 1986. He was the Republican Party’s nominee for president in the 2008 election. Over the course of his career, Senator McCain served as Chairman of the Senate Committees on Indian Affairs, Commerce, Science and Transportation, and most recently, Armed Services.
McCain’sfuneral arrangements specified to not invite President Trump
John McCain instructed his friends and his family months ago that he didn’t want Donald Trump at his funeral. Instead in a non-partisan show, he invited former President Barack Obama and former President George W. Bush – who both beat him when seeking the highest office of the land – to attend his funeral and even to deliver the eulogy. McCain thus ensured that his funeral would be bipartisan and inclusive, making it all the more glaring that the current President of the United States wasn’t invited.
The final words from a great man. McCain had a request for his tombstone:
He served his country.
Feature photo: CAM RANH INTERNATIONAL PORT, Vietnam (Jun. 02, 2017) Senator John S. McCain III is piped aboard during a visit to the forward-deployed Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain (DDG 56). The U.S. Navy has patrolled the Indo-Asia-Pacific routinely for more than 70 years promoting regional peace and security. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Joshua Mortensen/Released)