Tributes As John McCain, Senator And Former Presidential Candidate, Dies At 81
Tributes have begun to pour in for Senator John McCain, a war hero, conservative maverick and two-time presidential candidate, who died on Saturday at his home in Arizona. He was 81.
Mr McCain, who was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumour in July 2017 and had been undergoing medical treatment, died yesterday surrounded by his family, a statement from his office said.
His family announced on Friday that Mr McCain, who left Washington in December, had decided to cease treatment for his brain cancer on Friday, a little more than a year after he revealed he was diagnosed with glioblastoma. He passed away less than 48 hours later, surrounded by his wife Cindy and his family.
Cindy, tweeted: “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 place he loved best.”
Mr McCain’s daughter Meghan said the task of her lifetime would now be “to live up to his example, his expectations, and his love”.
Following news of his death, wellwishers waving flags lined the street as a hearse brought Mr McCain’s body from his ranch in Sedona, Arizona, to a funeral home in Phoenix.
Also, politicians on both sides of the aisle immediately began paying tribute to the man who they knew not just as a war hero and veteran, but also as a mentor and a friend.
“America and Freedom have lost one of her greatest champions,” South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, who was famously close with McCain, wrote on Twitter. “And I’ve lost one of my dearest friends and mentor.”
“Words cannot express the sorrow I feel at John McCain’s passing. The world has lost a hero and a statesman,” Senator Jeff Flake, who also represents Arizona, wrote on Twitter.
“As you go through life, you meet few truly great people. John McCain was one of them,” said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. “His dedication to his country and the military were unsurpassed, and maybe most of all, he was a truth teller – never afraid to speak truth to power in an era where that has become all too rare.”
President Donald Trump: “My deepest sympathies and respect go out to the family of Senator John McCain. Our hearts and prayers are with you!”
First lady Melania Trump: “Our thoughts, prayers and deepest sympathy to the McCain Family. Thank you Senator McCain for your service to the nation.”
Vice President Mike Pence: “Karen and I send our deepest condolences to Cindy and the entire McCain family on the passing of Senator John McCain. We honor his lifetime of service to this nation in our military and in public life. His family and friends will be in our prayers. God bless John McCain.”
Attorney General Jeff Sessions: “For John McCain, his country was his life. He was tireless in its service. Courage, determination, and relentless drive made him a great leader.
“To me, having served with him in the Senate for 20 years, his support for President Bush’s surge in Iraq at a time when things had been going badly and public support had eroded, was one of the most dramatic, important, patriotic, and selfless actions I had the honor to witness in that body. His presidential aspirations were entirely set aside. He totally deployed his considerable strength and energy to what he believed was best for his country—and in service to those then fighting valiantly for the mission the nation had given them. It was a very contentious debate. His personal dedication and leadership moved a very uncertain decision to a favorable outcome.
“His ferocious tenacity for his country was unmatched. America has lost one of its greatest patriots.”
Barack and Michelle Obama: “John McCain and I were members of different generations, came from completely different backgrounds, and competed at the highest level of politics. But we shared, for all our differences, a fidelity to something higher — the ideals for which generations of Americans and immigrants alike have fought, marched, and sacrificed. We saw our political battles, even, as a privilege, something noble, an opportunity to serve as stewards of those high ideals at home, and to advance them around the world. We saw this country as a place where anything is possible — and citizenship as our patriotic obligation to ensure it forever remains that way.
“Few of us have been tested the way John once was, or required to show the kind of courage that he did. But all of us can aspire to the courage to put the greater good above our own. At John’s best, he showed us what that means. And for that, we are all in his debt. Michelle and I send our most heartfelt condolences to Cindy and their family.”
Former Sen. Joe Lieberman: “Although it was clear that John McCain’s life was ending, his death today hurts. America has lost one of the greatest patriots and public servants in our history. And I have lost a dear friend. I was lucky to know him and work with him and am comforted now by great memories of our times together and by the words he spoke to me last summer when he was recovering from the brain cancer surgery: ‘I want to live as long as I can but if my life ends soon as a result of this cancer, I will have been blessed to have lived a great life. So I am going to go forward with a lot of gratitude and joy every day I can.’ Hadassah and I send our love and prayers to Cindy and the entire McCain family.”
Joe Biden: “John McCain’s life is proof that some truths are timeless. Character. Courage. Integrity. Honor. A life lived embodying those truths casts a long, long shadow. John McCain will cast a long shadow. His impact on America hasn’t ended. Not even close. It will go on for many years to come.
“As a POW, John endured the worst of what human beings can do to one another. In politics, he fell short of his greatest ambition. At the end of his life he faced a cruel and relentless disease. And yet through it all he never lost sight of what he believed most: Country First. And the spirit that drove him was never extinguished: we are here to commit ourselves to something bigger than ourselves.
“John was many things — a proud graduate of the Naval Academy, a Senate colleague, a political opponent. But, to me, more than anything, John was a friend.
“America will miss John McCain. The world will miss John McCain. And I will miss him dearly.
“On behalf of myself, Jill, and the entire Biden family, our sincerest condolences go out to Cindy, Doug, Andy, Sidney, Meghan, Jack, Jimmy, Bridget, and the entire McCain family.”
George W. Bush: “Some lives are so vivid, it is difficult to imagine them ended. Some voices are so vibrant, it is hard to think of them stilled. John McCain was a man of deep conviction and a patriot of the highest order. He was a public servant in the finest traditions of our country. And to me, he was a friend whom I’ll deeply miss. Laura and I send our heartfelt sympathies to Cindy and the entire McCain family, and our thanks to God for the life of John McCain.”
Bill and Hillary Clinton: “Senator John McCain believed that every citizen has a responsibility to make something of the freedoms given by our Constitution, and from his heroic service in the Navy to his 35 years in Congress, he lived by his creed every day. He was a skilled, tough politician, as well as a trusted colleague alongside whom Hillary was honored to serve in the Senate. He frequently put partisanship aside to do what he thought was best for the country, and was never afraid to break the mold if it was the right thing to do. I will always be especially grateful for his leadership in our successful efforts to normalize relations with Vietnam. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Cindy, his mother, Roberta, his children, and his entire family.”
Jimmy Carter: “John McCain was a a man of honor, a true patriot in the best sense of the word. Americans will be forever grateful for his heroic military service and for his steadfast integrity as a member of the United States Senate. Rosalynn and I extend our sincere condolences to Senator McCain’s family and to the people of Arizona whom he represented so forthrightly for so many years.”
Sarah Palin: “Today we lost an American original. Sen. John McCain was a maverick and a fighter, never afraid to stand for his beliefs. John never took the easy path in life – and through sacrifice and suffering he inspired others to serve something greater than self. John McCain was my friend. I will remember the good times. My family and I send prayers for Cindy and the McCain family.”