Reflection on the Death of Senator John McCain
There are some deaths, in the history of a nation, a people, or a land, where their force and their impact seem to echo like a roar of thunder off a mountainside. Such was the case, for the death last week of Senator John Sidney McCain III. As a naval aviator, prisoner of war, congressman, senator, and above all, as a statesman, Senator McCain embodied the highest ideals of public service, of heroism, and of humanity. The Senator by all means did not have all of the answers, nor did he always reach the right conclusion, but embodied a truly American spirit in his attempts to search and strive for them. Ever devoted to a certain fidelity of purpose and goal, the Senator indefatigably strove to fulfil the promise of this great nation. The closing words of the eulogy of Dr. Henry Kissinger, himself a giant of American life, are instructive “henceforth, the country’s honor is ours to sustain.”
As a publication focused on the security of our nation, Senator McCain provides a powerful example. For those seeking to defend our nation, his life provides strength and certitude. For those who seek reconciliation, justice, and peace, his life provides an ideal to live up to. And for those seeking to find a balance between the two, questioning to what lengths we must go and to what lengths we should not, his experience provides guiding wisdom. For his service to his country, for his abiding humanity, and for his willingness to question dogma and search for a deeper, more nuanced truth, the nation is in his debt, and shall be forever.
Fair winds and following seas, sir.