Remembering John McCain

I was writing an email to a friend last night when a ‘breaking news’ update flashed across my screen:  Senator John McCain had died.  Just two days prior, the Senator had announced that he had discontinued his treatment, and I knew then that it was a matter of days, but still, the news stunned me.

Many others by now have written posts dedicated to McCain, and anything I will say has almost certainly already been said by others who said it at least as well as I can.  For that reason, I debated about writing this post, but I felt I had to.  While I may not have agreed with much of his ideology, many of the views he supported, never once did I question his honour or integrity.  I always believed that whatever his view, he believed that what he proposed and supported was for the good of the people he represented, and he understood, as few do, that he represented the entire nation, not just those who voted him into office.

When John McCain was asked, in an interview with Jake Tapper last September, how he would like to be remembered, he responded:

“He served his country. And not always right, made a lot of mistakes, made a lot of errors. But served his country. And I hope, could add, honorably.”

Yes, Senator, I believe we can add ‘honourably’.

John McCain served his country honourably for almost all his adult life in one capacity or another.  He began his military career in 1960 after completing flight school, but his combat career began in 1967, at the height of the Vietnam War.  It was on 26 October 1967 when, while flying his 23rd bombing mission over North Vietnam, his plane was shot down by a missile over Hanoi. McCain fractured both arms and a leg when he ejected from the aircraft, and nearly drowned after he parachuted into Trúc Bạch Lake. Some North Vietnamese pulled him ashore, then others crushed his shoulder with a rifle butt and bayoneted him.McCain-10.jpgSeriously injured, he was shown no mercy by the North Vietnamese, and received daily beatings and interrogations.  In mid-1968, still recovering from his serious injuries, the North Vietnamese offered McCain early release because of who his father was:  commander of all U.S. forces in the Vietnam theater.  McCain refused unless every man taken in before him was also released.  Kept in solitary confinement, McCain was subjected to a program of severe torture. He was bound and beaten every two hours.  After five-and-a-half years, he was finally released on 14 March 1973.

McCain went on to enter politics, serving in both the House of Representatives and later, the Senate.  Since this is a tribute, not a biography, it is not my intent to outline his long service in Congress, but rather merely to note that, while he had the reputation in Congress for being a ‘maverick’, his was often the voice of reason.  He was often the one who reached ‘across the aisle’ to work through compromises, and because of this, in recent years he often came under fire from his own party.  But through it all, McCain followed his conscience, and though he wasn’t always right, he always fought for what he believed was the right thing for the nation and its people.

This nation and every citizen, both republican and democrat alike, lost a friend and an advocate yesterday.  We need more like him, and he will be missed by so many.  Former Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama will give the eulogies at McCain’s funeral.  Even in death, he reaches across partisan lines.  You did more than your share here on earth, Senator McCain, and you will be sorely missed.

39 thoughts on “Remembering John McCain

  1. Dear Jill,

    I was just listening to a pundit about how some of his colleagues resented him for his endeavors to push forward legislation by working with democrats. The kind of republican left in the US Congress look at concept of compromise as one to be despised. They don’t wan’t to be constrained by “political correctness.” This is the republican party of today.

    Senator McCain is the last of a republican party that was, once upon a time, respected. His voice will be sorely missed. I’m just praying that the former Presidents Obama and Bush will be channeling Senator McCain when they deliver their eulogies.

    Hugs, Gronda

    Liked by 1 person

    • His seemed to be the last ‘voice of reason’ in Congress, and the GOP is now the “party of Trump” as some have said. Bipartisanship seems to be dead, a thing of the past. I wonder if this is permanent, or may change under a different president?
      Hugs!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I remember seeing a short segment from his campaign against Obama. A lady in the crowd mentioned the rumour that Obama wasn’t even American. John McCain could have let it pass. He could have won some more supporters, by simply saying nothing. Instead he shook his head and told her the truth. I will never forget that.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Jill, John McCain was a man of character and honor. He served his country well. I encourage people to read McCain’s biography “The Restless Wave.” He speaks openly about serving his country and notes the mistakes he made. He was ardent in his beliefs and relished the fight, but was on very good terms with his political adversaries. I did not always agree with his positions, but he tended to be his own person and worked often across the aisle.. We need more like him. Keith

    Liked by 1 person

    • I read his book the first week it hit the shelves and I add my voice to yours in encouraging people to read it. Like you, I often didn’t agree with his ideology, but I always respected and admired him, for he was not a radical and was most always willing to work with the democrats to get the job done. It speaks volumes, I think, that European leaders are paying tribute to him, while our own bloomin’ president rejected plans for a tribute to honour McCain! Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

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  4. Like you, I read about the death of John McCain last evening while on the computer. One of my initial thoughts was this is the same day as Ted Kennedy and from the same horrible form of cancer, Glioblastoma. I had been reminded of the 9th anniversary while reading about it earlier in the day. My mind also went to McCain’s Mother, Roberta, and how they had celebrated her 106th birthday this year. I remember that at 95 yrs. of age, she had campaigned for him in 2008…a spunky woman! Who does not remember his 2008 campaign bus tour, the “Straight Talk Express”?! I was not a McCain supporter politically, but always admired the man. A man of courage, integrity and indeed, of honor. Thank-you for a wonderful tribute to John McCain.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well somehow that one passed by me unnoticed! I had no idea this was the same date that Ted Kennedy died! I remember watching him at Obama’s inauguration in 2009 and thinking … he’s not long for this world. But I did not remember the date of his death. Both were men that I respected and admired. A dying breed? Like you, I often disagreed with McCain’s ideology, but he was usually willing to work toward compromise, respected the lawmakers on the other side of the aisle. There wasn’t any of the name-calling and denigration we see by so many today. Sigh. 😥

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  5. His life and death have been subject of articles and commentaries in the news here too (Germany, Austria, Netherlands). All say the same: A man that will be missed because of his integrity and his willingness to reach out over the “great political divide” that seem to separate the US these days. He will be remembered with a lot of respect in Europe.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I saw a picture of a big lighted sign somewhere in Germany, I believe an airport or perhaps train station, honouring him. And tonight I read that world leaders, even Pakistan, are honouring him. On the other hand, our own so-called president made a brief mention in passing before getting back to tweeting about “Crooked Hillary”. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr … 👿

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  6. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    Yes, indeed … ‘When John McCain was asked, in an interview with Jake Tapper last September, how he would like to be remembered, he responded:
    “He served his country. And not always right, made a lot of mistakes, made a lot of errors. But served his country. And I hope, could add, honorably.”

    Liked by 1 person

  7. “Kept in solitary confinement, McCain was subjected to a program of severe torture. He was bound and beaten every two hours. After five-and-a-half years, he was finally released on 14 March 1973.” And Donny the Coward didn’t go to Vietnam cause his daddy got a doctor to say he had bone spurs. My blood boils with hate and rage over that guy.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Oh yes…me too and I just saw that Fox News had to take down the comment section on their Utube page where they had some videos of John McCain (not sure of the content) because of the smearing of him and his legacy by their obscene followers. They are of course of the same trash that spawned trump. They all come from the same defective mutated lower end gene pool. It so disgusts me, I can’t put it into words.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Fox News helped create the monster in the Oval Office, and they have helped keep the masses ignorant, so if they expected better of their viewers, then they were fools. I will be happy when Rupert Murdoch kicks the bucket and his son takes over, for he seems more moderate, more level-headed. But we shall see.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I saw that. You’d think it would signal to the powers that be at Fox News about the quality of the idiots who follow them blindly. Personally, I did not agree with nor care much for McCain. However, the very thought of trashing an American soldier who sacrificed SO much for this country, just because he did not kiss the Orange Monster’s ass, is repulsive to me. The tRump problem is a problem caused by the morons who worship his disgusting rectum. They make my stomach turn.

        Liked by 2 people

    • I nearly mentioned that very fact in this post, but I wanted to keep politics out and simply make it a tribute to a good man. But I agree … and his response today … barely a mention in passing … infuriated me even more.

      Liked by 1 person

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