Senator John McCain's remarkable record of leadership embodies his unwavering lifetime commitment to service. The son and grandson of distinguished Navy Admirals, Senator McCain graduated from the Naval Academy in 1958, and served as a Naval aviator for 22 years, including in North Vietnam during the Vietnam War.
On October 26, 1967, during Senator McCain's 23rd bombing mission over North Vietnam, a missile struck his plane and forced him to eject, knocking him unconscious and breaking both his arms and his leg.
Senator McCain was taken as a prisoner of war into the now-infamous "Hanoi Hilton," where he was denied needed medical treatment and subjected to years of torture by the North Vietnamese. He spent much of his time as a prisoner of war in solitary confinement, aided by his faith and the friendships of his fellow POWs.
When he was finally released and able to return home years later, Senator McCain continued his service by regaining his naval flight status.
His last Navy duty assignment was to serve as the naval liaison to the United States Senate. He retired from the Navy in 1981. His naval honors include the Silver Star, Bronze Star, Legion of Merit, Purple Heart, and the Distinguished Flying Cross.
Senator McCain was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from Arizona in 1982 and elected to the United States Senate in 1986. He was the Republican Party's nominee for president in the 2008 election.
Over the course of his career, Senator McCain served as Chairman of the Senate Committees on Indian Affairs, Commerce, Science and Transportation, and most recently, Armed Services.
Senator McCain is survived by his wife, Cindy,
seven children and five grandchildren.
He was laid to rest at the U.S. Naval Academy Cemetery in Annapolis, Maryland.
Washington, D.C. Public Procession
September 1, 2018
United States Capitol to
Vietnam Veterans Memorial
U.S. Senator John Sidney McCain III was born on August 29, 1936 at Coco Solo Naval Air Station in the Panama Canal Zone to Lieutenant John S. "Jack" McCain Jr. and Roberta Wright McCain. The son and grandson of four star admirals, he was raised in the navy and in a tradition of military service that began before the American Revolution.
His grandfather, John S. McCain Sr., called "Sid" or "Slew," was the first of the family to attend the United States Naval Academy, and the first to become a naval aviator, earning his wings at the age of fifty. As a passed midshipman, he served in the Philippines on a gunboat skippered by Chester Nimitz, and sailed home to America on the flagship of Teddy Roosevelt's "Great White Fleet." The Senator's colorful great uncle, Brigadier General "Wild Bill" McCain was a West Point graduate, and served under General Pershing in Mexico. Another West Point graduate, General Henry Pinkney McCain, fought in the Battle of Manila, was adjutant general of the Army and established the selective service during World War One. Various McCains served in the armies of the Confederacy during the Civil War, one branch of the family having settled in the mid-19th Century on a plantation in Carrol County, Mississippi. An ancestor served on General Washington's staff, and Washington himself is the Senator's cousin many times removed.
The Senator was the second of Jack and Roberta McCain's three children, arriving after his older sister, Sandy, and before his younger brother, Joe. His early life was nomadic as the family accompanied his father to various duty stations.
Senator John McCain's remarkable record of leadership embody his lifetime commitment to service. In celebration of Senator McCain's service to others, please consider learning more about and supporting these two causes which were of critical importance to Senator McCain:
Senator John Sidney McCain III died at 4:28pm on August 25, 2018. With the Senator when he passed were his wife Cindy and their family. At his death, he had served the United States of America faithfully for sixty years.
I was in the far northern reaches of Canada on a wilderness river when Senator John McCain died. We got to our endpoint—Nahanni Butte—where there was internet connection, and I learned that he passed away a few days earlier. It was not a surprise, obviously. Friends had been keeping me posted about his struggles and diminished strength through the summer. Still, it was a very sad day when I heard the news.
Tributes at the U.S. Naval Academy Honoring Senator John McCain today by General David H. Petraeus and Jack McCain.
Through a lifetime commitment to service, John McCain touched the lives of people everywhere he traveled. People from every corner of the world have shared their memories and thoughts about Senator McCain and we invite you to read some of the scrolling messages below. Please share your own memories below.
Thank you sir for every thing you did for this great country you will be missed god bless .
-- mike, Washington
As just an ordinary citizen I wish to thank his wife Cindy for all the support she gave to over the years to this patriotic man and husband . He will not be forgotten and neither will she . So Thank You Cindy and May God Be with as your new challenges come .
-- Connie, Arizona
In 1982 John McCain sat down with myself and so to be wife Karen and talked to us at Temple Beth Israel. We occasionally cross ed paths again at different sporting events in the Valley of the Sun. I did volunteer work with his son Andrew at different Fiesta Bowl Events. Hopefully John McCain Name with be on different buildings throughout Arizona. Mr. McCain helped my son Nathan play football in the Down Under Bowl game in Australia in 2009. GOD BLESS THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA ?? STATE OF ARIZONA ??.
-- MICHAEL, Arizona
Always a hero. Love and prayers to the family.
-- Linda, Missouri
I met Senator McCain three times, once at a campaign rally in 2000 which is memorialized with a photo of him with me and my wife. We met more privately two other times where we discussed Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran. I knew I was in the presence of an American patriot. At a time when are challenged at home and abroad his ,eacership will be sorely missed.
-- David, New Mexico
HERO Above Them All. While he might not have agreed with every person, he respected them all. He saw the best in everyone and spoke the truth as he knew it. God Bless John McCain.
-- Lawrence, Virginia
I lost my big role model!
-- Chris, Germany
A PATRIOT,HONORABLE ,AMERICA FIRST. May you feel the hand of GOD on YOUR SHOULDER. GBY
-- Charles, Arizona
Man and public servant of great convictions beyond party lines, where only his conscience and the welfare of the American people had space. He fulfilled his mission as he did so many other times, now that The Great Architect of the Universe welcomes him into his kingdom.
-- Francisco, Florida
I will remember John as a man that went threw enemy torture. A Veteran that stood up to help us Veterans while in the Senate.
-- Rory, Wisconsin
Words can’t wipe away your tears. Hugs won’t ease your pain. But hold on to your memories. Forever they’ll remain. My heart goes out with sorrow when I heard the bad news. I am sending love and remembrance and keep John's family in my thoughts and prayers as you go through this difficult time.
-- Sassan, California
As a former Scoutmaster, SenMccain would den alter tI My new Eagle Scouts. It inlckude. a letter about making a flag out of scraps while he was a prisoner. My son still has his letter and he is 48 now. He never failed to make this Scout feel good.
-- John, Arizona
My prayers go to john McCain Family he will be remember
-- Anthony, Pennsylvania
One thing I know: No matter what your politics, John McCain believed that no human being of whatever race, creed, ethnicity, heritage, or supposed criminal activity should be tortured. He Believed that torture was wrong -- always!. And so do I.
-- Jean, Wisconsin
I was and had been a huge supporter of John McCain! I’m so saddened to hear of his passing! My thoughts and prayer go out to the McCain family! Thank You John McCain for your Service and all that it intails!!!!!This country lost the best of the best !!!!!
-- Lori, Michigan
I have ALWAYS had a deep love and admiration for John McCain. My deepest sympathy and prayers for him and his family.
-- Frank, New York
One of my proudest moments was speaking for him at the Iowa Caucus, and then voting for him, against all odds that fall. I will always believe that the issues we are struggling with today would not have been so extreme or intractable had he won in 2008. I would have followed him into fire if he had asked. He spent 6 years in a box in Asia, for me, my family and this country. Godspeed.
-- Charles, Iowa
Senator McCain has been a role model in American and international politics. Not only his ability to speak out on controversial issues will be missed, also here in Europe. He will always be remembered for his graceful concession speech, praising Barack Obama in 2008 - what a great man. R.I.P
-- Christopher M., Germany
This great man lead our Nation and will be remembered as one of the greatest of all time. Goodbye Patriot.
-- Dan, Oregon
Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see GOD. Senator John McCain had every reason to be hard hearted, but time and time again, John forgave...pure hearted John forgave. He always looked forward, not back. He walked the walk. He kept reaching. He was human, but he didn't quit. He kept looking up. God is his strength. So yes, blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see GOD. Thank you McCain Family for sharing John with us. We pray you know God's presence, love and comfort during these very difficult days.
-- Debbie, Virginia
I just wanted to express my heartfelt gratitude to this wonderful human being. My heart is broken. I was born in Africa and met my Irish American husband in Germany. He was in the military and we got married in Germany and came here. I remember during the election I was standing with my two children when we saw McCain's tour bus passing over I-4. I was jumping up and down when I saw it and started crying. I was feeling so emotional when I saw his tour bus zooming through our state. As much as I love and admire Obama, I was a McCain supporter because of his gentleness and purity. May he rest in peace. I will be praying for his wife Cindy and their family. Men like him are a blessing to all of us.
-- Eve, Florida
A great politican and a honest man, A great character is gone- I am very sad. I will miss him.
-- Johannes, Germany
Vietnam was our meeting place a long time ago. I remember when he walked out of the jungle. God bless you and keep you. I shall miss you greatly. Jerry Simpson
-- Gerry, Maryland
A well-earned rest for you, John. Truly well-earned in the eyes of God and of men.
-- Marc of Contemplative Pathways, Philippines
Dear McCain Family, I had the honor of meeting Senator McCain in Houston, TX. He was a very gracious man. We lost an icon in American politics. He was honorable, honest, and a hero. He was not afraid to speak his mind. He helped people in the United States and around the world. He will be remembered forever. Please accept my deepest condolences.
-- Imtihan, Texas
I appreciate John’s support of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. His attendance at JDRF functions was invaluable in helping to create awareness of the need for continuing research. Thank you to the McCain family for allowing us to share our appreciation for all he did.
-- Sherry, Virginia
I have learnt from the life of Senator McCain what distinguishes an outstanding leader: He knows who he is; what he stands for; what he believes in; where he is going; and most of all; he epitomizes character-driven leadership in action. I understood from his life example that 'Leadership is not something we stand for, rather, it is a stand for something'!
-- Karambu, Kenya
A true American! Our country is a lesser place without him! Rest In Peaceand God speed.
-- David, Arizona
America has lost a Son and Hero. Rest in Peace Senator your work here on earth is done. I have watched you over the years. Your dignity and service to our country will always be remembered. Prayers to you and your family.
-- Doris, New Hampshire
Stay in hell forever! I hope you will see many children from vietnam war bastard! Murder is in hell
-- Czech, Czechia
On my 3rd day interning on Capitol Hill in May 2001, I got on the trolley that goes from the Capitol to the Senate office buildings. Senator John McCain came around the corner, and sat down next to me. The first thing I asked him was, “Am I sitting in the Members-Only car?” He said “No, you’re fine.” For the next 4 minutes a Republican and a Democrat chatted about Bucks County, PA, Congressman Jim Greenwood, Penn State football, and campaign finance reform (I got a direct quote from the author of the McCain-Feingold bill for my summer semester paper). I’ll never forget the deep scars down the sides of his face, and thinking about all he had been through. He directed me to the bar I was going to for Happy Hour.
-- Amanda, Washington, D.C.
I remember Sen. McCain at Wright State University introducing Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate. It was a fun and optimistic time. I will always remember his patriotism.
-- Mary S, Ohio
My memories of the Senator involve being introduced by LtCol Orson Swindle, USMC, POW, his and my friend. Will not write long, I admired the Senator for all the reasons others have said, but most of all because HE was a real patriot , and we as a strong Nati0n, in his image, will prevail.
-- Col Bob, Maine
It was such an honor working on the 2008 campaign. If anyone deserved to be the President of this country, Senator John McCain was the one. Spent his entire life serving this country, what a loss to all Americans.
-- Candace, California
Eternal rest grant unto John McCain o Lord and may Your perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace. May his family feel your comfort o Lord in these coming days
-- Daniel, Illinois
"To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded." - Ralph Waldo Emerson In every sense, we can say that Senator John McCain succeeded.
-- Anthony, Georgia
God bless Senator John McCain. God bless America.
-- Tim, New Hampshire
John McCain is a true hero! He will be missed by all. I don't know of anyone in America who has sacrificed so much for his country! Truly a special man. May America's politicians learn to serve their country half as well as Senator McCain! Thank you sir! Thank you for everything.
-- Toni, Texas
Senator John McCain was a great American patriot and statesman. We need more like him in today’s leadership. We extend our condolences to Mrs. McCain and all of the extended family. He was an inspiration to millions of Americans and a breath of fresh air in an era when vitriolic attacks are the norm. John McCain spoke truth and earned the right to do so by his military service and extraordinary service. He will be missed.
-- John, Kentucky
Thank you Sir for your service. Prayers and love to your family. I feel proud to know now that he is on the Right side of our Father, watching over us. Sincerely, Bert Druckenbroad
-- Bert, Ohio
To the McCain Family Although I did not know Senator McCain personally,I respected him greatly. As a veteran, he made me proud! Master Sergeant, USAF, RETIRED
-- Cassandra, Alabama
RIP, Senator McCain. Eternal rest grant unto him, Oh Lord. My deepest condolences to his family and friends. May you find peace in the memories you share.
-- Diane, Florida
Take your rest...you brave soldier having fought the good fight of faith until your name was echoed from heaven's realm for your task has been completed. Your example of courage will not be gotten. You will be missed.
-- Phillip, South Carolina
Remembering a very, very good man. What a great example John McCain left for us to follow. Farewell brave hero. Sleep well.
-- Audrey, New Jersey
Thank you very much for the support of Ukraine.
-- Oleksandr, Ukraine
I saw John McCain, during the time he was a POW, he protected other POW from being tortured. He told me that a Vietnam, soldier came to his cell and ask him if it is true that US Carriers have a swimming pool? To prevent any harm or torture to the prisoner that said this, he answered; " Yes; some have 2 pools".
-- Alfredo, Florida
At the outset, let me express my deepest condolences to the family of Mr.John McCain.
-- Rajaa, Morocco
I was on the wrestling squad at Episcopal High School with John McCain, and I supported him financially and with a vote in both of his races for President. He was a bona fide American hero whom I admired greatly.
-- Robert, Virginia
We have lost the most consequential legislator on planet Earth. John McCain served as our very best ambassador for American values. The world is a better and more secure place because of John McCain. Sen. McCain’s legacy is that of a selfless public servant who jealously guarded and advanced American values wherever and whenever they were under threat. He was a role model for all of us in putting country ahead of personal interest. I will remember fondly the time I was fortunate to spend with him. His wisdom, his commitment to service, and his love of country were an inspiration. We extend our heartfelt gratitude for all of his contributions to Arizona, the nation, and the world, and we extend our deepest condolences to Cindy and his family.
-- Glenn, Arizona
REST IN PEACE PRAYER OF FAMILY
-- JAMES, Arizona
We are truly grateful for the outpouring of support and comfort our family has received during this time of
great loss. Your letters and messages remind us of the incredible impact John's life has had on so many people
from Arizona, across the country, and around the world. John lived every day with vigor, vitality, and an
insatiable desire to serve the country he deeply loved. While we've lost a central part of our family and an
irreplaceable American leader, we can all honor John's life by continuing his legacy of service and leaving
this world a better place for generations to come.
-- The McCain Family