We all knew the end was near for John McCain. While news of his death didn’t surprise any of us, it still struck a nerve.
It took a few days for it to sink in for me. When I was doing research for my book, I went down a rabbit hole, losing hours poring over John McCain’s record. In a world where we have focused on absolutes – hero/villain, awesome/horrible, etc. – I became impressed with John McCain as a great, flawed man. He was not perfect, by his own admission. I included two quotes from his final speech to the Brigade but could have easily included the whole transcript (which you can find here).
But he was a great man, whose passion for his country led him to a lifetime of service. The fact that he wanted to be buried at the Naval Academy next to his best friend from that time in his life, Chuck Larson, says so much about his character.
And I find myself watching this 2008 clip over and over again, wondering, how did we go from this to “Crooked Hillary/Lock her up” and “Basket of deplorables”?
People can question his politics. They can question the way he handled any number of situations, including his ill-fated presidential campaign. But no one … no one … can question how much this man loved his country and how that passion motivated everything he did. He loved his country and he loved his family.
We should all be so blessed to have that as our legacy.
Fair winds and following seas, John McCain.
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John McCain’s book, “The Restless Wave: Good Times, Just Causes, Great Fights, and Other Appreciations” is available on Amazon as are his other books including “Faith of our Fathers” and “Why Courage Matters.”