Remembering Senator John McCain

Senator. War Hero. Father. Author. Presidential Nominee. These were just a few of Senator John McCain’s numerous accolades throughout his lifetime. The politician died on August 25th at 81 years old, due to glioblastoma, an aggressive form of a brain cancer.

McCain began his service to this country when he was 22. Graduating from the United States Naval Academy in 1958, McCain served for 23 years as a naval aviator. Nicknamed “White Tornado” by his peers, he later received The Bronze Star, The Silver Star, The Purple Cross, Legion of Merit, and the Distinguished Flying Cross for his service in Vietnam and other engagements.

McCain not only received all of these awards for his hard work; he also received the respect of the entire United States for his personal sacrifices when he survived being held as a prisoner of war by Vietnamese forces for five years. In fact, during his time as a POW, McCain lived out his professed strength by refusing to be released. Instead, he insisted for every other prisoner to be released before him.

After retiring from the Navy in 1981, McCain turned his focus towards politics and became the Senator of Arizona, serving six terms and earning the prestigious position of being considered a “lion of the Senate” due to his long tenure. In addition, McCain ran as a presidential candidate for the Republican Party in 2000, when he lost in the primaries against George W. Bush, and in 2008, when he lost in the general election against Democrat Barack Obama. An experienced official in Congress, McCain maintained a surge in popularity in media outlets during President Trump’s current term, due to Trump’s many controversial statements made against McCain, particularly those regarding his status as a prisoner of war. In his most notable action during the Trump presidency, McCain returned to the Senate after leaving for medical reasons to vote “no” against the Republican Party’s Obamacare repeal bill, leading to a standing ovation.

As John McCain emphasized in his autobiography, Faith of My Fathers, “Glory belongs to the act of being constant to something greater than yourself, to a cause, to your principles, to the people on whom you rely and who rely on you to return.” He truly lived this out in his life, whether it was through his strength of character through his imprisonment during the Vietnam War, or standing up for his principles in the face of Trump politics and the fluctuations of his party’s ideologies.

America will never forget the contributions McCain made during his life, and his legacy will live on forever at Capitol Hill.

– Olivia Robinson ’20

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