Western Courier

John McCain dies at 81

John McCain served as a senator for 32 years.

Wikipedia.org

John McCain served as a senator for 32 years.

Jason Adams, Courier Staff

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This past weekend we lost a senator, veteran, patriot and all around a great man. On Saturday Arizona Senator John McCain, passed away after a battle with brain cancer.

He served for 23 years in the U.S. Navy, including the Vietnam War, where he was captured and held as a P.O.W. for five years in a North Vietnamese prison. During his time in the P.O.W., he received weekly beatings and refused to be released when offered unless everyone who was captured before him was released as well. He then served as a U.S. Congressman for five years and a senator for another 32 years, including two failed presidential campaigns. He was a popular and a well respected politician, as well as a man that stood for many values that we strive for within ourselves.

One of the things that separates McCain from other politicians is definitely his military background. He came from a family of Navy officers so his enrollment at the U.S. Naval Academy was not a surprise to those who knew him. He joined the navy after graduation and asked for a combat assignment around the time the conflict in Vietnam began. His plane was shot down and he became a prisoner of war and received harsh treatment and beatings, which he kept even after having the choice to be released due to his father’s position. He was definitely tormented by the experience but managed to hang on until he got out five years later.

He was a part of an era of politicians who are known for choosing to go into the military and what they did when they were in the military. The example he set for all of those P.O.W.’s and how he stood his ground showed his perseverance and faith in what the U.S. is supposed to stand for. He didn’t try to dodge the war, he went head first into it too, which is something you rarely see on Capitol Hill anymore, or currently in the White House. He understood the role that soldiers and the armed forces play in this country, because he was part of it for so long and knows the sacrifices they make.

Another major reason he was so respected, was what he did as a politician, what he stood for and what he believed in, not what was expected of him. You know there is something good about a man when his former competitior had nothing but praise for him. McCain lost the 2008 presidential election to Barack Obama and Obama had nothing but good things to say about the him. McCain wasn’t afraid to vote against his party if he didn’t believe in what the vote was for. One of his final major moments as a senator, was when he wouldn’t vote for a bill that many felt was rushed through the Senate to try to change Obamacare.

Sticking to his beliefs may have cost him the presidency on several occasions, but his morals remained firm. Too many politicians nowadays vote so much with the party that they don’t always read the bill, McCain was an exception. It goes without saying that Congress and the U.S. have lost a very important and special individual. Hopefully his legacy and his beliefs will lead to more politicians being like him.

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John McCain dies at 81