Senator John McCain–war hero, 2008 Republican presidential nominee who opposed Barack Obama, and conscience of the Senate–has died.
From Elizabeth Chuck, Sen. John McCain, independent voice of the GOP establishment, dies at 81:
John McCain, who shed a playboy image in his youth to become a fighter pilot, revered prisoner of war and both an independent voice in the Republican Party and its 2008 presidential nominee, died on Saturday, little more than a year after he was told he had brain cancer. He was 81.
McCain’s office said in a statement “Senator John Sidney McCain III died at 4:28 p.m. on August 25, 2018.” He announced on July 19, 2017, that he had been diagnosed with a glioblastoma, an aggressive type of brain tumor. Earlier this week his family announced he was discontinuing treatment. . . .
In his 36 years in Congress, McCain became one of the country’s most respected and influential politicians, challenging his fellow lawmakers to reach across the aisle for the good of the country, and often sparring with reporters with a biting if self-deprecating wit.
On a variety of issues — torture, immigration, campaign finance, the Iraq War — McCain was often known as the moral center of the Senate and of the Republican Party.
Whatever a person might think about his politics, he deserves honor for spending nearly 2,000 days in a North Vietnamese Prisoner of War camp, under nightmarish conditions. He lived those five years in a 10 x 10 foot cell, with frequent beatings and torture sessions. And yet McCain refused an opportunity to get released as a gesture to his father, who had been named commander of U.S. forces, feeling this would be an unfair to his fellow prisoners.
McCain said what got him through the ordeal was faith: “Faith in God, faith in my fellow prisoners and faith in my country.”
Photo: John McCain in 1972, shortly after his release from the Hanoi Hilton POW camp, by O’Halloran, Thomas J. [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons