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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Unwarped fidelity


The Legacy of John McCain

“No,” he said to the clerk, as he extended his arm into a thumbs down. It was rather low due to the injuries sustained during his five years of brutal captivity at the hands of the enemy during Vietnam.

He strolled back up to the exit, passing his stunned colleagues with ease and confidence, effectively ending the attempt to repeal and replace his former adversary’s landmark achievement, Obamacare.

It was there – his defiance against a tour de force – that Senator John McCain (R-AZ) left his mark on a nation and a people.

Regardless of ideology, McCain’s resilience against the repeal of the Affordable Care Act should come as no surprise. In life he was no stranger to resisting immense pressure.

In 1967, 31 year old navy pilot John McCain was shot down over Hanoi,Vietnam and subsequently captured. Despite his captors’ efforts to release the son of the supreme U.S. commander in Vietnam, Lieutenant Commander McCain vowed not to be a propaganda tool and only allowed those captured before him to be released.

He was bound, his jaw and bones fractured and refractured. He was placed in solitary confinement for two years. Pushed to the brink, he attempted to commit suicide, only to be stopped by enemy guards. He finally came home in 1973 and entered intensive physical therapy for his injuries. He donned the uniform one year later.

Reflecting on the ordeal of being a prisoner of war, he wrote, “It wasn’t until I had lost America for a time that I realized how much I loved her.” Wanting to do good elsewhere, he worked in the Senate to build and modernize our Navy. Then he ran for Congress, embarking on three decades in the Senate. After leaving the darkest corners of hell in Vietnam, he returned to better the country and world he loved.

Unbound and undefeated, he strived to work together with all leaders to accomplish greatness and push this country to new frontiers, tackling new challenges and forging new relationships.

Our land’s greatest leaders – Ted Kennedy, Abraham Lincoln,and John McCain – were noted and sometimes loathed for their daring tendency to respect the other side and partner with them. His adversary for the presidency, an office so coveted and revered, even gave his eulogy.

McCain was conservative, but he demanded that Republicans and Democrats put aside their differences and recognize that there is a common goal: America.

It’s something that both parties care about and if you truly care about your country, then you must work together to protect her and better her.

The passing of Senator McCain was a loss to us all and not because he was a Republican or a war hero. Not even as an American. On Aug. 25, humanity lost a good man.

If a man who went through some of the most tumultuous and polarizing times in our history – the Cold War, civil rights movement, Vietnam, Watergate, social unrest – can leave a legacy of cooperation, then we can too.

If you truly believe in the life and beliefs of the senator like I do, then there is a colossal potential for change and reengagement with one another.

His death should serve as a call to action for all Americans – Americans from all creeds, all backgrounds – to step up to a challenge. We need to challenge one another to be daring and bold while maintaining respect and appreciation for all and everything.

“No just cause is futile, even if it’s lost, if it helps make the future better than the past,” he once remarked. So, let’s take up the cause.

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