In Memorium: Senator John McCain
August 29, 1936—August 25, 2018
NYCHSRO/MedReview joins with Americans across the political spectrum to remember US Senator John McCain of Arizona for his lifelong dedication through war and peace to his country and its democratic principles.
A graduate of the US Naval Academy, McCain served as an officer from 1958 to 1981, including tours in Vietnam, and subsequently moved with his family to Arizona, where he embarked on his political career in the Republican Party. Following two terms in the House of Representatives, in 1987, he easily won his first of five senatorial campaigns, but in 2008 lost his presidential bid to the Democratic candidate, Barack Obama. He died on August 25, midway through his fifth term as Arizona’s senior Senator, succumbing to glioblastoma, a virulent brain cancer. It was the final heroic battle in a life marked by courage.
Senator McCain’s valor as an officer and naval aviator during the Vietnam War is legendary. Shot down and seriously injured during a key bombing mission over Hanoi, he endured six years as a prisoner of war, including episodes of torture that left him with lifelong disabilities. Despite the extreme abuse by his captors, the naval officer famously refused their offer of early release from the enemy prison, choosing to stay with his fellow POWs rather than accept special treatment.
His heroism and commitment to honor-above-self, even in the midst of battle, won McCain the life-long respect of his peers on both sides of the political divide. Indeed, his outspoken support of Israel through many contentious times is one more example of this lawmaker’s fierce loyalty and courage. As Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement regarding the news of John McCain’s death, I will “always appreciate in my heart his strong friendship toward Israel and toward me personally. His consistent support for Israel flowed from his faith in the principles of democracy and freedom.”
NYCHSRO/MedReview CEO and President Joe Stamm also acknowledges the loss of this great American, whom he and his wife Anne have long admired. In 2014, when Congress honored the Stamms at the Jewish American Heritage celebration for their dedication to improving the quality and cost of healthcare for all Americans, Senator McCain himself presented the award at Mr. Stamm’s personal request.
“His leadership and voice will be missed,” states Stamm. “May his memory be a blessing.”