As our nation has said its fond farewells to Senator John McCain (1936-2018), Americans including myself, have pondered the question, “How do you describe John McCain?”
Senator McCain had a well-earned reputation as a “Maverick”, which means he did things his way, which sooner or later surprised, pleased, irritated, or chagrined everyone — and quite often the same people experienced all of those reactions at differing times — I know I did. However, one thing you could always take to the bank — John McCain was going to do what he thought was best for America.
The son and grandson of four-star admirals in the U.S. Navy, he graduated from Annapolis, became a carrier fighter pilot and was shot down over Hanoi, badly injured and captured. Kept in solitary confinement, tortured terribly, for over five years in the “Hanoi Hilton,” he turned down early release by his captors because they refused to allow him to take all of his fellow P.O.W.’s with him. Senator McCain bore the scars of that torture for the rest of his life. For example, because of the torture damage done to his shoulders, he could never comb his own hair again for the rest of his life.
Returning to America in 1973, he became a congressman from Arizona, a six-term senator for that state, and was the Republican party’s nominee for president in 2008. Senator McCain devoted his entire adult life to serving his country. Despite his terrible experiences in Hanoi, Senator McCain insisted that, “he was the luckiest man alive” to have lived the life he lived and to be born an American.
John McCain himself described the crucible that forged him into the man he became. He said he was sustained by prayer and faith while in that hell-hole of a prison. He then explained how the experience molded and shaped him:
I fell in love with my country when I was a prisoner in someone else’s. I loved it not just for the many comforts of life here. I loved it for its decency; for its faith in the wisdom, justice and goodness of its people. I loved it because it was not just a place, but an idea, a cause worth fighting for. I was never the same again. I wasn’t my own man anymore. I was my country’s. (John McCain, Republican presidential nomination acceptance speech, September 4, 2008.)
What better definition of an American “exceptionalism” can there be than the one John McCain gave us in his own words and in the life he lived.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Dr. Richard D. Land