Reactions Continue to Pour Out for Late Senator John McCain

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U.S. NAVY
  • U.S. Navy
After news broke of Senator John McCain's passing, reactions from around the state, country and international community started pouring in. Two days later, family, friends, co-workers and those impacted and inspired by the Senator continue to share their memories and condolences for McCain and his family.

The U.S. Navy, in which McCain served from 1954 to 1981, released multiple statements.

Statement from Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer

Today, the Navy and Marine Corps team lost a friend and one of our own when Senator John McCain passed.

From the Naval Academy to flight school and throughout his time as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, McCain displayed unfailing honor and duty to country. If that was the end of his service, he would still be renowned as a hero, but McCain’s desire to serve didn’t stop when his uniform came off. He continued to serve as a representative and senator from Arizona. Throughout his life, McCain never ceased serving our nation or fighting for what he believed.

My heartfelt condolences go out to the McCain family, their friends and loved ones. Everyone on the Navy and Marine Corps team shares this loss with all who had the fortune of knowing Sen. John McCain.

Statement by Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson
The nation has lost a great patriot and warrior. Whenever we were in a tough spot, we knew Sen. McCain would be on our side with his characteristic toughness and integrity. The U.S. Navy mourns the loss of a true shipmate. Our prayers go with him and to his family, that they find consolation. May Sen. John McCain, who never flinched from a worthy fight, rest in a well-deserved peace.


Statement by USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) commanding officer Cmdr. Micah Murphy:

On behalf of the crew of USS John S. McCain, I offer our support and prayers to the McCain family, our gratitude to the senator for his years of service to our nation, and a heartfelt traditional Navy sendoff: 'Fair winds and following seas.' It is an honor to have our mighty warship carry on your name and continue your legacy.

DDG-56's name honors three generations of dedicated service to the Navy and nation. Sen. McCain's father, Adm. John S. McCain, Jr. served as U.S. Pacific Command commander. Sen. McCain's grandfather, Adm. John S. McCain was a distinguished World War II carrier task force commander.

Sen. McCain continued this proud legacy as a naval aviator during the Vietnam War. As a prisoner of war, he endured more than five years of captivity, representing America honorably and selflessly.

After retiring from the Navy, he continued national service in Congress, first as a representative and later as a senator from Arizona. Sen. McCain took an active interest in the destroyer and its crew, including a visit to the ship during a port visit to Cam Ranh International Port in Vietnam on June 2, 2017. The ship had visited ports in Vietnam several times before over the years in honor of the McCain legacy.


University of Arizona President Robert Robbins released this statement about McCain:
At the University of Arizona commencement ceremony in 2005, Sen. John McCain told Wildcat graduates that he believed "the true worth of a person is measured by how faithfully we serve a cause greater than our self-interest, that encompasses us but is not defined by our existence alone."

By that standard, Sen. McCain's value has been immeasurable. Through a higher standard of service rooted in honor, courage, and commitment, he inspires us to reach across national boundaries and philosophical differences to learn from and care for each other.

I was blessed to have met this unique and honorable American hero. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Cindy and his family.
Senator Jeff Flake appeared on NBC News' Meet the Press with Chuck Todd, and spoke about his fellow Arizona Senator:
“It was like having a big brother who nobody wanted to mess with. So, I very much enjoyed serving with John McCain in the Senate and being in the House when he was in the Senate as well.”
Arizona Democratic Representative Ruben Gallego released this statement:
John McCain is a national hero. From Vietnam to the halls of Congress, Senator McCain served our country his entire life. In the way he lived, he set an example of courage, honor, and love of country that will inspire young Americans for generations to come.

All of us, in Arizona and across our land, have lost a truly great public servant. My sincerest condolences to Senator McCain's family and his loved ones on their loss.
Tohono O'odham Nation Chairman Edward D. Manuel issued the following statement:
"The Tohono O’odham Nation was saddened to learn of the passing of U.S. Senator John McCain, who had represented Arizona in the halls of Congress for more than 30 years. A U.S. Navy veteran of the Vietnam War who survived capture and torture in a P.O.W. camp, Sen. McCain dedicated his life to serving his country and fellow citizens. His example of service and sacrifice will continue to inspire future leaders across the United States.

The people of Arizona were especially fortunate to have been represented by such a tireless and devoted public servant for so many years. During his time in elected office, Sen. McCain worked closely with the Tohono O’odham Nation on many issues of importance to our communities. His leadership, experience, and insights will be greatly missed.

On behalf of the Tohono O’odham Nation, I offer my deepest condolences to the family and friends of Sen. McCain during this difficult time.”

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