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.
A TRUE hero, may he Rest In Peace.
-- Thomas, Virginia
I remember Senator McCain's voice when I was serving with USAID in Iraq. His honest confrontation with the situation encouraged me in my work, but more importantly as a citizen. I will continue to be inspired by his work, his work, his words, his love of country, his dedication to service, and his memory.
-- Dana, California
The first time I met John and Cindy McCain was in Los Angeles at the Beverly Hills Hilton at a dinner and a reception on that fateful primary night during the 1999-2000 campaign. All I can remember was that genuine smile and his heart filled thanks for our support. Our conversation were spurred by our hopes to create a middle ground that the Republic Party could then build on. Nonetheless, his fight to create bi-partisan unity in the Senate led to another run for the White House. Serving on his Small Business council in Ohio in 2008 I saw the spark for change again and once again felt his desire for a unified party. I was so proud to help John McCain in both California and Ohio. His selflesness and his heart will be missed but we shall carry on his fight for a unified America. God bless
-- Pierre, Ohio
I've long admired and respected Sen. McCain for his strength, leadership and love of America. He dedicated his whole life to serving our country, striving to make it better and stronger, and becoming a mentor to many.
-- Susan, Texas
Thank you for your service, commitment to the USA and being an all around decent human being. Although, I didn't always agree with your politics, I respected your opinions and more important you. RIP
-- Johnny, California
2 of my children and I had the pleasure of attending The Senators 100th town hall in NH when he was running for President. I was fortunate to be called on for a question. He was gracious and strong that day. He even complemented my young children. We sometimes watch the replay on CSpan. We think of that family time and cherish the memory. As well, I was just recently working in Vietnam and visited the Relic in Hanoi. I was moved to tears reading the history and how much I’m sure that he endured for the fight for our great country. But more importantly, the grace he showed on his return. He will be missed and our families prayers are with you during this time of sorrow. I know, as you do, that he is in God’s Loving arms for all time. God Bless you!
-- Michael, New York
Thank you so much your help our country, We miss you
-- Van, Maryland
I met the character of John McCain within the pages of his book, Faith of My Fathers, well-matched with his conduct as a man. It describes the ground of his action and the enduring worth of his cherished commitments. Whatever shortcomings each person exercises in life or fame which endures, it is the reason for it that all makes sense. Their works do follow them. Rest in Peace.
-- Herbert, California
My extended family and I just wanted to wish our deepest condolences to your family. We are all Democrats and we really always respected and liked your father and husband very very much ..What a wonderful and amazing Legacy he leaves. We view him as one of the most courageous and dignified Senators or Congressman we have ever had or probably ever will have...We know it is so hard for you ...We are all praying for you. God bless you and you're wonderful father and husband.
-- Ardele, Pennsylvania
I wanted to share an impressionable moment I experienced as a Legislative Assistant for the National Association of Retired Federal Employees (NARFE) and meeting the late Senator. The year was 1990 and I was a 21 year old working for the legendary Judy Park who had worked w/ Senator McCain to defeat the Medicare Catastrophic Prevention Act. Judy invited me to a lunch honoring Senator McCain along with maybe a dozen people and she said to me, "Senator McCain was a true friend to federal retirees. This is an experience you will never forget." And she was right. He will be sorely sorely missed.
-- Lisa, Illinois
The world has lost a great statesman who was respected by people all over the globe. I never met him personally but nevertheless felt inspired by his strong and clear vision about the role of the United States in the global political system.
-- Mike, Germany
Thank you for being a continual beacon of decency and forthrightness for all Americans. Rest, knowing you will be missed.
-- Nicole, Ohio
Senator McCain’s lifelong commitment to public service has been truly inspiring for me, particularly as a career military officer. From combat service in Vietnam to the halls of Congress, his courage and allegiance to the ideals of freedom speak to me as a leader and a citizen. His example challenges me to never fail to act on principle and to do so regardless of the personal consequences. Senator McCain embodies the “man in the arena” and in keeping with President Roosevelt’s wishes, to him should go much credit. His lifetime of public service deserves the highest possible praise and admiration.
Had the honor of meeting John McCain on two occasions in NY. I remember him telling how proud he was about his son enlisting in the USMC. I am proud of you JOHN, please Rest In Peace. Thank you for the good example you have demonstrated for Vietnam Veterans like myself. God bless you and your family. Donald J. Steinert USMC, proud Vietnam Veteran PS. I started reading Restless Wave last week.
-- Donald, New York
He inspired me to get re engaged with my country I called for days in support for campaign finance reform I hope his passing inspires people to come together I’ll never forget him Thank You Gary DeRogatis
-- Gary, New Jersey
I was so excited when he ran for President; I knew he would put the office and the country first. My husband and I both voted for him, and were very disappointed when he lost the election. He will be remembered, and he will be missed.
-- Miranda, New Jersey
I was always pleased to see John McCain standing up for my beliefs. He made me proud to be an American. Thank you John McCain
-- Jo, Illinois
I was in the USAF in SWA when John McCain was taken hostage by the NVA. We did everything we could to rescue him but to no avail. John McCain will always be a true American Hero to everyone in the military. I’m positive he has “...reached out and touched the face of God”
-- Tom, Alabama
Quite a few years back, John McCain came to Lake Havasu & there was always a party at Marie Meahl's home. Fond memories of him & even had my picture taken with Senator McCain which I still have. God Bless his family with such a loss.
-- Patricia, Arizona
You can always trust that Senator McCain will do the right thing, the man - who selflessly leads, inspires and always stands by principles. Today, when the free world faces one of the toughest fights against the forces of darkness, we, Georgians and all the other free nations have been blessed to have him. On the day of the Russian invasion in Georgia, while being in the Presidential race his phrase “today we all are Georgians” strongly resonated across as the call to rest of the world to stand against the Russian aggression.
-- Batu, Georgia
Supported John in both his runs for the Presidency and almost volunteered to go to South Carolina to work in the campaign in 2008. Wish I had so I may have got a chance to meet him and thank him for his service to this country
-- Andy, North Carolina
Amazing hero and patriot. He will forever be an inspiration to many of us about service to our country. Blessed to have worked for his campaign and honored to know what kind of man and person he was. A generation of dedication will always be remembered. Eternal rest grant grant unto thee Lord and may perpetual light shine upon him. May he Rest In Peace. Always forward and God speed sir.
-- Mario, California
I loved John and will miss him I love Cindy A great team of 2 extraordinary people
-- Barbara, New York
God bless the McCain family and surround each of you with peace.
-- Theresa, Michigan
We fly our flag at half staff on our porch in his Honor. As a man of honor, a War Hero and a patriot, he treated people with dignity which is sorely missing these days. Senator McCain will Always be remembered. What a Contrast from Mr. Trump who will NEVER be Remembered. We love you and will miss you forever. Senator McCain was a HERO. Bless the McCain family.
-- sheldon, New York
I am a proud Canadian who has always supported,admired and respected John Mc Cain. I extend my deepest sympathy to his dear and loving family.
-- Sharon, Canada
People like John McCain are what truly make America great!
-- Kippi, Tennessee
Senator McCain was an honest, honorable man who served his country well in war and peace. He set an example that should be seen as a standard for others.
-- Harry, Ohio
RIP! Thank you for your service to our country.
-- Kent, California
He was the first person I ever contributed to for president and I was a dem at that time....he stood out for our country and military. ..He is sorely missed!
-- David, Illinois
Senator McCain will be greatly missed. His service to our country was much appreciated. He led with an open, fair mind. He’s a true example for all of us in so many ways. May God bless and comfort your family.
-- Lisa, Oklahoma
Thank you Senator McCain for raising the bar and being a great leader to us. You will be missed dearly.
-- Raymond, Arizona
You will be missed Senator John McCain ! I'll Be praying for the family !
-- Carolyn, Kentucky
My memory of John McCain is that he always was straight to the point. I am a Democrat and there were things that I did not agree with. But what I loved the most is that he reached across the aisle i know he is watching down on his family and smiling and saying "keep o fighting". You will be greatly missed. Tracyann, New Jersey
-- Tracyann, New Jersey
I never met Senator McCain but I remember him for his courage, determination, humility, and love. As a POW, there is no greater love than a man who would lay down his life for a friend. That was Senator McCain. I will truly miss watching him on television "stand up for the right and greater good". On Friday afternoon God welcomed him home with open arms and a huge smile, saying, "Welcome home, thy good and faithful servant. A job well done. He will celebrate his 82nd birthday in Heaven while smiling down on his true loves. His family and his country.
-- Pamela, South Carolina
FINE MAN. SEND PRAYERS AND LOVE...TO FAMILY....
-- joeann, Kentucky
The world has lost a great man. Thank you so much, Senator McCain. You have always been an inspiration. You would have been an amazing POTUS and a beacon for the entire free world. You have always been my hidden president. I salute you!
-- Andre, Germany
I am a democrat in Tucson, AZ. I have great respect for this man. He worked across the aisle for the good of ALL Americans and the whole world. There will never be anyone like him. I bet Aretha Franklin is ushering him into heaven with her songs!!! Well done, good and faithful servant!
-- Kathleen, Arizona
Attended his rally for President at Stabler Arena, Lehigh U., Bethlehem, Pa.
-- Ken, Pennsylvania
There are very few Politicians that I can honestly say I respect. John McCain was one of them. We lost one of the last good people in our Government, and he will be missed. R.I.P. John McCain.
-- Josh, Kentucky
82nd Airborne ‘73-‘76. Was Army. Our son is USNA. Absolutely HATE politics as anyone in uniform of that era will tell you. Bet he did too, but still someone has to have the guts to do it. . What a loss to this nation. Most sad half mast I have seen. Salute and Prayers to your family from WWI army, WWII navy, Korea Army, VietNam Army, today USNA. Thank you.
-- Micheal, Tennessee
Thank you so much to John McCain for giving me the opportunity to work and travel with him on the 2000 campaign—it was an absolute highlight of my professional life. And thank you for serving as a political hero—both for the nation, and for my son-who was awed by him-and other young Americans at a time where kids have way too few politicians to look up to. To be both driven by principle, and to be able to apologize, are such admirable traits, and he was a true leader. And he was a lot of fun. It was an honor to know him. Thank you Senator John McCain.
-- Maya, Maryland
Thank you John for your service to all people of this nation. both in war and peace. Fair winds and calm seas on your journey. RIP.
-- Robert, California
Few people accepted the call to duty that others ran from. You are a man that was for the people and for this country. I am grateful for your sacrifice and your families. Thank you. May God bless you and your family
-- Pam, Louisiana
I sorry for you lose
-- clara, North Carolina
I worked on his campaign as a grad student at the University of Nevada Las Vegas. I loved his laugh! Even if he was not pleased, when he laughed it made everything okay. My heart is with Senator McCain's family at this time of their loss. May he Rest in Peace.
-- Lara, Washington, D.C.
Condolences to his Family, friends and all who loved him. Rest and your spirit shall touch us. My older brother lost his life in Vietnam, and so I know John's enormous sacrifice.
-- Cheryl, Florida
Senator John McCain I want to thank you for your heroic service to our Great country. My political viewpoints may differ than yours but I admire you and truly believe that if there was anyone who can make a difference it was you sir. I hope your examples in life willl continue to inspire people with political differences to have respect and integrity for each other. God bless you
-- Patrick, Florida
He gave me a glimpse of what a George Washington and Abraham Lincoln's Courage, Honor and devotion to the truth was like. They would have been proud to have known him as a friend.
-- Garrick, New York
I had the distinct privilege to serve as a delegate for John in both the 2000 and 2008 Republican National Convention from Massachusetts. I have such admiration and respect for this man. My great sympathies to his family.
-- Madeleine, Massachusetts
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