Such remarks on the American war hero were heard: He was an embodiment of many of the
ideals that make America great…
Glowing tributes followed one another from around the globe over the last weekend of August for
the former Republican presidential candidate who succumbed to brain cancer at age 81, at his ranch
close to Sedona, Arizona.
It was a peaceful lengthy glimpse to see how lawmakers from both parties came together
to hail one striking figure, McCain, who endured five and a half years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam.
Before he was laid to his final resting place at the United States Naval Academy, his alma mater,
Senator McCain was given fitting tributes at his residence state’s hall and eulogies were delivered at
the U.S. Capitol rotunda where former U.S. presidents, George W. Bush and Barack Obama led the
plaudits to the departed American hero.
Although he was close to his final hours, the senator from Arizona had a parting message to
his fellowmen: “Do not despair at our present difficulties. We believe always in the promise and greatness
of America because nothing is inevitable here.”
As soon as he was captured in Vietnam, McCain chose to face imprisonment and torture rather
than use his privilege as an admiral’s son to be released ahead of his fellow prisoners.
In the Senate, McCain was identified as a pragmatist who could “form alliances across party
lines and forgive old enemies” to address difficult problems.
Political analysts of note have said: “His death serves as an almost perfect metaphor for the death
of the old Republican Party,” once led by principled statesmen such as Theodore Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower,
and Ronald Reagan.
President Trump caught the nation’s notice when he initially refused to honor Senator McCain, one of
his known fiercest Republican critics, and by insisting on flying the White House flag at full-staff while the rest
of the federal government’s were lowered.
Ultimately, relenting to pressure from top aides, Trump ordered the flag to half-staff.
“Despite our differences on policy and politics,” Trump said, “I respect Senator McCain’s service to
“Whatever his faults, McCain was a giant,” echoed one of the most neutral politicians from New York.
“Besides his friend, Democrat Edward Kennedy, “He was one of the two most important politicians
over the past 70 years who never made it to the Oval Office.
“He was a principled opponent of torture, a highly influential voice in foreign policy, and a relentless
opponent of authoritarian regimes like Vladimir Putin’s Russia.
“He was the senator no one could ignore,” according to the same New York politician.
Meghan McCain, the daughter of Senator and Mrs. McCain gave a very touching appraisal of
One had to listen to Ms. McCain who, despite the trying difficulties of making it to the platform,
was the subject of grace as she spoke of the remembrances her father left behind.
It is only befitting that the Philippine News, the premier Filipino American paper founded in 1961,
joins its colleagues in the U.S. press as its share in the dissemination of the Senator McCain’s farewell
letter to the nation:
“I lived and died a proud American. We are citizens of the world’s greatest republic, a nation of
ideals, not of blood and soil. We are blessed and are a blessing to humanity when we uphold
and advance those ideals at home and in the world. We weaken our greatness when we confuse
our patriotism with tribal rivalries that have sown resentment and hatred and violence in all corners
of the globe. We weaken it when we hide behind walls, rather than tear them down, when we doubt
the power of our ideals, rather than trust them to be the great force for change they have always been.”