Long-time U.S. Senator John McCain Passes


U.S. Senator John McCain

When Americans think of Congress, few names stand out ahead of that of John McCain’s. A two-time presidential candidate, a Vietnam War veteran, and a five term U.S. Senator, one would be hard-pressed to find someone who dedicated more of their life to public service. As a result, McCain’s passing on August 29th came as a huge hit to Americans.
Throughout his time in Congress, McCain was known for continually challenging the status quo and his belief in the importance in bipartisanship. Examples include McCain’s work with Democrat Russ Feingold on comprehensive campaign finance reform, along with effort to improve immigration with Democrat Edward Kennedy. In recent years, he was more passionate than ever about the need for bipartisan efforts, criticizing both Republicans and Democrats for their lack of effort.
“Our shared values define us more than our differences. And acknowledging those shared values can see us through our challenges today if we have the wisdom to trust in them again,” McCain wrote in The Washington Post.
With this in mind, for many, McCain’s death is about more than his passing. For many, it looks to be the last straw for bipartisan initiatives.
Over six decades of public service culminated on Friday, August 31st, as McCain was given the honor of lying-in-state in the rotunda of the United States Capitol, an honor bestowed on only 31 prior individuals. The following day, a procession took McCain’s casket to the Vietnam Memorial and then to the Washington National Cathedral for a memorial service. At the service, former presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama memorialized the senator in front of the many friends, family, and past and present politicians who gathered to remember McCain.
“He was courageous – with a courage that frightened his captors and inspired his countrymen. He was honest, no matter whom it offended…He was honorable – always recognizing that his opponents were still patriots and human beings. He loved freedom, with the passion of a man who knew its absence,” stated Bush during CNN’s coverage of the funeral.
Yet, in all the sorrow, there was one bittersweet moment. The day after the services in the U.S. Capitol, McCain was buried next to his longtime friend, classmate, and fellow Vietnam prisoner-of-war, Admiral Chuck Larson, making good on a 20-year promise.
The late admiral’s wife, Sarah Larson, remarked to CNN’s John Berman in a fitting testament to the friendship of the two men and the conclusion of a live well-lived, “Chuck has his wingman back now.”