Americans Remember John McCain


William Thomas Cain

John Sidney McCain III, 81, died on Saturday, August 25 from cancer.

After surviving years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam and giving back decades of service to the United States in the Navy and Congress, Sen. John Sidney McCain III (R-AZ) lost his battle with brain cancer on Saturday, August 25.

McCain graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1958 and became a naval aviator during the Vietnam War.  He was captured and held as a prisoner of war from 1967 to 1973, surviving torture and ill-treatment. He sustained wounds during the war that left him with lifelong impediments. In 1981, he retired from the Navy as a captain and moved to Arizona to begin his career in politics. McCain was elected to the House of Representatives in 1982 and served two terms before becoming a senator in 1987, a position he held until his death.

Americans across the country and McCain’s colleagues from both parties mourned his death. McCain was memorialized on Wednesday, August 29 at the Arizona State Capitol and laid in state last Friday in the U.S Capitol, becoming the 31st person to receive that honor. At the funeral service in the National Cathedral last Saturday, Former Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, who ran against McCain in the 2000 and 2008 presidential elections, respectively, delivered eulogies. Current President Donald Trump was not invited to the service.

Former President Bush said, “John was, above all, a man with a code. He lived by a set of public virtues that brought strength and purpose to his life and to his country. He was courageous, with a courage that frightened his captors and inspired his countrymen.”  

Sen. McCain was buried in a private ceremony at the U.S. Naval Academy last Sunday. Regarding McCain’s life and legacy, Leo Poggi ’20, co-head of the Hotchkiss Republicans Club, said, “Politics aside, John McCain was a great man. As a veteran and a senator, he devoted his life to the service of the American people and always fought with conviction for what he believed was in his country’s best interest. May he be remembered as a true patriot and hero.”