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.
I am not a Republican by any means, however I respect John McCain for who he is and what he represents even today after his death. History will judge him as a Hero. He is a true Hero and a man of honor regardless what president Trump and other critics thinks or said about him. May God bless his soul and his family. McCain will be missed for ever. We need a man or woman like McCain today who would stand for what is right regardless of politics. Rest in peace McCain! the Lord has a special place for you in heaven.
-- Fenel, Arizona
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
I have always admired John McCain's courage and strength of character. We owe him a debt of gratitude, one we could never repay. Thank you for a lifetime of service to our country...for the example of patriotism and citizenship you have demonstrated. To the McCain family, I mourn with you and will be praying for you during these difficult days. Your husband and father will love on in our hearts and American spirit. May God's peace and comfort be yours. What a man...what a legacy John McCain leaves behind...a true American hero...my hero! Not many would give their lives for people they don't even know...yet John Mc Cain gave it all willingly. Thank you...forever grateful!
-- Pam, Florida
My thoughts and prayers are with his soul and his family. God Bless him and his family. We will miss his positive impact for ourUnited States.
-- Susan, Arizona
The death of Senator McCain is not only a great loss in the US, his death is a loss for all democrats in the world who fight for freedom and their believes. Senator McCain was an extraordinary and independent personality who did not just say what the present leadership wants to hear. The current policy is poor with characters like him.
-- Torsten, Germany
I met this lovely person at the Leesburg Virginia airport when he was traveling with Col. Oliver North. We had discussions concerning Aviation during which he highly complimented me in my aviation endeavors. I am convinced that he is a true American Hero whose name should be memorialized along with this nations greatest.
-- david, Virginia
My deepest sympathies to the McCain family. He was a true gentleman who took his duties as a senator very seriously. I admire his independence and his love of family and country. May he rest in peace
-- Cindy, Minnesota
An Honorable man, an American Patriot devoted to what is right for America. You will be missed.
-- Nancy Morton, North Carolina
I'll always remember a great line you gave "The most dangerous place in DC is between Chuck Schumer and a TV Camera". Bless you and your family and thank you.
-- John, California
God speed Senator McCain. America has lost a great man.
-- Jean, Arizona
My name is Mina Castilho, I admire and loved Senator McCain. What a great loss for the whole world. Thank you Senator McCain for dedicating 60 years of your life to serve this wonderful and great Country. I am sending love and blessings to His family. May our God hold all of you in His loving arms. I will miss your sense of humor your service and fight to make this a better place. R.I.P Sir!!!
-- Mina, California
John McCain was a great example of patriotism, morality and decency. He was the moral compass of the Senate. He will be missed.
-- Nessa, California
The nation lost a great man but your family has lost so much more. I sympathize with your sorrow. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.
-- Nancy, Arizona
Have never had the pleasure of meeting him am 80 years old and he is my choice to have dinner with so much respect for him. Would love to thank him for his service to mankind and country
-- Gayle, South Carolina
Senator John McCain was a man of honor and brave war hero who always put his country and family first. He is an inspiration to every American and we will miss him. May he Rest In Peace.
-- Dan, New Jersey
Honored to have voted for the Senator in 2000 Republican Presidental primary as well 2008 General election! One of the few votes in my lifetime that I am proud of. The country will be so much worse of without the unifying spirit of the late Senator. God bless his spirit and memory! My deepest condolences to the McCain family!
-- Dzafer, Illinois
Being a first generation immigrant and die hard democrat party supporter, I have always felt heartened by the honesty and patriotism of Sen.Mccain. He was a example to me of the greatness left in public service and my faith in my new country always was firm thanks to him. My prayers for this wonderful man.
-- Kumar, New Jersey
I served in the Navy at the same time as John McCain I just wanted to send my regards regards for a life well lived God bless his legacy
-- Woodrow, Arizona
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
I did not personally know senator McCain but he is one of the greatest men I have ever known of. He helped everyone he could no matter who they were. He will be sadly missed, I am at a lost for words over how much he meant to me and a lot of people. I will keep his family in my prayer's.
-- Becky, Arizona
Should there be a Heaven, Senator McCain will not only be there but will be working hard for it's many angels. I have no words to match the love and grief being expressed now for Senator McCain, but I do want to join in with such remembrances. He is a man of my generation. He represents to me the best the Republican party has to offer. I hope he will be a role model for future Republicans. My love to his family who must miss him but did have his love and devotion for many years.
-- Francia, California
He was a statesman and a servant of the people. Rest in peace, and peace and comfort to his family.
-- Matt, Montana
He fought the good fight. Godspeed
-- Michael, New York
Some politicians will be remembered as a good Republican or a good Democrat. John McCain will be remembered as a good man.
-- Richard, Indiana
He was really awesome human being We will miss you Mr McCain ?may you Rest In Peace with no more pain
-- Ana, California
Let's put aside politics remember John McCain for putting his life on the line for our country family that has to live without him he's asleep no more pain beautiful memories bless his family
-- Sharon, Nevada
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
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
Good Bye. Well done!
-- Astrid, Germany
I like John McCain, I wish I had meet him and his family.
-- David, Texas
It was not until after I retired from the Navy in 1976 that I had the opportunity to read about and then follow the career of the man who has become a hero to so many of us. Senator McCain earned the respect of all those who he represented - and he represented us all - here in Arizona and across the country. We have all benefited from having as our American champion, Our Senator, John McCain.
-- Ed, Arizona
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
We remember him,he was a great hero
-- Ramon, Florida
A am very sad over the loss of a great wonderful man. He will be so missed this incredible man.
-- Jill, Arizona
RIP John McCain . You have truly set the bar, and no more need be said. Peter
-- Peter, New Jersey
A remarkable patriot. Will miss his common sense. Prayers to the family.
-- Diane, Arizona
With all of his dedication and honest effort, he gave much for this country.
-- Charles, Arizona
While I often disagreed with his political choices, I always deeply respected him as a man of honor. Rest in peace, John McCain, you were my Senator.
-- Bonnie, Arizona
When my late husband Carlos Apodaca passed Mr McCain was the only one who would listen to me and helped me get his benefits. After 4 years of fighting and getting nowhere he did it in six months. I will forever be grateful to him. You could see he was a kind and loving man who loved his Country and the people. May God rest his soul in peace and keep his family strong. I am sure he left a great legacy behind. He will be greatly missed but never forgotten.
-- Mary L, Arizona
Dear Family of Senator McCain: We are grateful for Senator McCain's life and for the support all of you gave him that enabled him to be the great Senate and international leader that he was. We share in your loss.
-- Shirley & Jim, Arizona
I am sad and disappointed that I did not get a chance to meet you in person. It was always a pleasure to listen to what you had to say! A great man and role model for us. Thank you for your service Sir!
-- Patrick, Arizona
Peace with Lord.
-- Howard, California
Every one Loved John
-- Floyd, Arizona
Senator McCain had seats very near mine for the Arizona Coyote games at America West Arena. I saw him often at these games. He always had a kind word, a smile, a wave, a nod of recognition. The Country has lost a man that was its rudder in stormy seas. A man that exemplified character, sacrifice, and sense of duty to Country and family. God speed Senator McCain and may God bless your family in this trying time. We have lost you, just when we need you the most. That said, you have done your duty. Prayerfully, I hope that there are those of compassion and character that can carry on your good work. Rest in Peace, Sir.
-- Steven, Arizona
Honor to a great Hero
-- Eduardo R., Florida
He was an honorable man, so much admired for his kindness, honesty and decency. Senator McCain was very much loved by many.
-- Gwen, Missouri
So sorry for the loss to your family and our nation. Senator McCain was a true statesman.
-- carol, New Jersey
Senator John S. McCain was one of the most inspirational characters of my lifetime. I was an US Army Spec. 4 in Vietnam from 1969 -1970 and witnessed John's return home on the television. I remember being so impressed with his service and the enormous difficulty attached to his captivity. I tell and have told my three children of his incredible courage, service, dedication and honor to this great country. As a politician he represented action, problem solving, respect for colleagues on both sides and an affection for country and respect for its people unrivaled by other members of Congress. He will be sorely missed and our great institutions have lost a great advocate. God Bless John S. McCain and Cindy and his entire family. Please accept the appreciation of a grateful nation.
-- Michael J, New York
He was a man of tremendous courage. He was a hero.
-- Hemant, New Jersey
Thank you for your honorable service Sir. You will be greatly missed.
-- Cathy, California
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