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.
Mr. McCain was a true patriot of the American people. We will miss this great man. Peace be with you.
-- Annette, California
Heartfelt sympathies to the entire McCain family. A true Maverick willing to help others even those he never met. Thank you for your service, celebration and humility.
-- Kathleen, Florida
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
Although my Polítical Ideologies were diferent I always admired the History and nobility that Transpired from Sen. McCain. Someone who clearly had the love for his Country and Fellow Citizens needed by any Leader. His Force and his legacy are inspirational to any one in the World! I'll look up for his legacy for years to come. America lost his Last True Hero. May God guards His Soul in Peace.
-- Gonçalo, Portugal
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 admired John McCain for as long as I can remember. In his death, I continue to learn lessons about how to live a valuable life. I didn't agree with every vote he made, but I always agreed he was an outstanding American, one to be not just honored but emulated.
-- John, Oregon
Mission Accomplished. Rest in Peace.
-- greg, Minnesota
megan McCain sorry about your dad he was the best man and president god will take care of him and rest in heaven thanks lord 2018 by joel mansfield
-- joel, Texas
As a younger man, I attended the Republican National Convention where John McCain told the story of his comrade in captivity making the American flag. “A little scrap of red. A little scrap of blue.” I cannot retell that story today to my sons without crying. Thanks be to God for the life and service of John McCain.
-- Fred, South Carolina
Senator John McCain is the kind of hero we so needed in today’s political climate. His sense of duty and honor should be the model of today’s youth. My sincere gratitude to his service to our country. He is the model that our young people should strike for nowadays. My sincere condolences to Senator ‘s family.
-- Florence, California
I saw Senator McCain on Hilton Head Island, SC...he was so dynamic and funny. I have a son who is a Cmdr. in the Navy and I know that Mr. McCain was one of his influences. My thanks, most especially to his family...they sacrificed a great deal for him to do his work for us, bless you during this very difficult time.
-- Toni, Texas
Sen . John McCain you will be miss I just cane not get over your last words to us all. God Speed John McCain Thank you for your Service
-- Alma, Ohio
My wife and I first met Senator McCain and his wife in 2007 in Dover, NH at a small intimate gathering unique to NH's place in politics, as he began his 2008 Presidential bid. As he shook hands with the small crowd we mentioned our son was in Iraq, and was supportive of his policies for that region. Senator McCain seemed genuinely interested, and Cindy spent more than a few moments chatting with my wife, mentioning their son would be deploying soon. We became volunteer works on Senator McCain's campaign (the first and only time we've felt the need to do that)) and as such had a few occasions to speak with him. Amazingly, he always remembered to ask about our son. We found him to be a genuine and thoughtful person. A true American who's life's impact will reverberate well into the future. Thoughts and prayers for family.
-- Mark & Deb, New Hampshire
A TRUE AMERICAN HERO AND A TRUE PUBLIC SERVANT MAY HIS MEMORY BE A BLESSING B'SHALOM
-- RICHARD, Massachusetts
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
He was an amazing man and a true American...God Bless Him and his Family
-- MaryEllen and Frank, Florida
I May be a Democrat, But John McCain may have been a Republican, He Was for All People in this Country. That is what made this man, A Great Human Being. Deepest Sympathy To his Family at this Time. RIP Mr. McCain, and God be with his Family.
-- Robert, Nevada
What an honorable guy...wish I’d have met him! I identify with his quick fuse, and sense of humor. To me, his humanity and decency shown brightly when the woman at a rally called Barack Obama an Arab, and John rebuked her...and how he got many jabs in at Obama at the Al Smith dinner, but then honored him. WOW! Imagine our president (small p) doing anything like either of those things today. So sad! From what I knew, I loved the man! We need to honor him through integrity and service that we do now daily. My heart reaches out to the McCain family.
-- Roger, Nebraska
A true American statesman; keeping his country first. My hero!
-- Sheila, Michigan
You will be missed my friend. My memories in our work to make America what it is today.
-- Randall Spreitzer, Arizona
You are a great American Hero and you will never be forgotten!!! Thank you for your courage, values, leadership, and service!!!
-- Mike, Washington
Rest In Peace, Senator John!
-- Tran, Vietnam
We love you so much, I'm totally sorry for the lost of a great man that spoke the truth about the whole world and fight for the state of Arizona and he will truely be miss and remember the greatest memories what you done to save our state. God bless the family and friends.???????.may God bless our state of Arizona.
-- William, Arizona
I feel grateful for service and his love of family and his country
-- Betty, Oregon
A great patriot that put his country before politics. He would have made a great President.
-- Gail, Florida
I voted for John McCain. He would have been a great president! However, he was a great senator and patriot!
-- Dean, Colorado
His 2008 concession speech showed the Great man he was. Rest well John. Clyde McDonald
-- Clyde, Washington, D.C.
I never meet Sen. John McCain. However throughout my 66 years of this earth I got to know Senator McCain. He was a good, decent man. He was a good family man. He was a Vietnam war hero. I called him my friend even though I never got to shake his hand. The world will miss Sen. McCain. His smile, his tenacity but most of all his character. He will for generations be a model of what each one of us should emulate each day. Character, truth, honesty, and his love of his family and country. May Sen. McCain rest now in the loving grace of God our Father and his Son Jesus Christ.
-- Randolph, Rhode Island
Mr John Mc Cain is and will be my my hero along with President Regan for a long time I wanted to go to corn bill to meet him in person, but just like the Grand cayon I was hopping that he be there all ways, now he is gone and the only thing that I have is his legacy, thank you John and God bless you always, I really would like to come and shake-the hand of the my hero s wife God bless you Sandy
-- Sal, Arizona
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
Senator McCain stood by us when we were in a position to lose our house, and intervened with Bank of America on our behalf. His help was invaluable to us and I will never forget his kindness, nor his and his office staff's efforts. RIP
-- Jessica, 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
He was a man of true honor and courage. His unique style and humor will be missed in this world.
-- Mike, California
Sen. McCain, you will be missed. Even though I did not agree with all your opinions. I respected the integrity and conviction you held and carried yourself with. America lost a great public servant today. God be with you.
-- Andrew, California
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
Dear Cindy I am so deeply sympathy your husband he is good men We'll best to your family. Love you Anthony Canale
-- Anthony, New York
I am a physician who helped take care of Senator McCain's kids. We had been out of the country several July 4th's. My daughter asked it we could stay in the US one year and John's office was helpful I setting up tours in DC. We asked to meet him when we came back to AZ. When we met in 2005, I reminded him who I was, asked him to run for President and offered to be his running mate. He thought a minute, said my kids are alive and "OK, you're in"! When we asked him how the average American could make a difference, he responded to keep the memory of the holocaust alive. He then quoted from Jewish authors. What a thrill and honor to have met him and have our family discuss this with him. We will never forget this honor to be with him.
-- Alvin, Arizona
A few years ago, I wrote Senator John McCain a letter. In the letter, I wrote to him about a charity that he was working on to help the disenfranchised and poor here in America. I wanted to know, from him, why we did not hear more about wonderful things like about his work in the news. I also wrote in the letter that I am a Democrat. Therefore, I did not expect to hear back from him. But, I did. He sent a most wonderful warm response and signed it in ink (smile). I am a US Veteran. Senator McCain's service is and always be unmatched. When we lost him, the sorrow is as great as the day we lost John F. Kennedy. Our Nation's Hero set the highest example that MOST will never achieve. But, at least we can honor him and keep trying!
-- Stan-Joseph, Georgia
Rest In Peace Senator McCain. Thank you for your service to our country. Very pleased to learn about the TGen Project That you brought to Arizona. I know many people will benefit from that.
-- Janie, Arizona
A truly world citizen - a hero to the world - rest in peace "sir"with love-respect - peace be with you and your family
-- JOHN, Canada
Senator McCain was a HERO and a great person. I never met him but, you do not have too to know that he was a good person. Rest is Peace Sir.
-- ALLAN, California
In January of 2003 a friend and I were traveling to Vietnam. Upon arriving in Saigon we visited the former Presidential Palace, now a museum to the “American War.” Photos of John Mcaain’s capture were throughout, celebrating it. As we came up to main floor we were stunned to see Senator McCain, his wife and youngest daughter. My friend and I approached and told him how much we admired him and he and Cindy were so very kind. We gushed to our guide that this man could be President, that he was such an important American. But what really sticks with me was the grace of this man who was held prisoner in this country, tortured, his treatment celebrated in this very museum and yet, he was cordial and kind to his hosts. What grace and forgiveness far beyond the ability of most people. He was a truly great man.
-- Cathryn, Illinois
Our family has been saddened by this loss, John McCain was a light of hope in a dark time politically. We laughed at his self defacing jokes, his delightful honesty. Most of all, we felt protected from corruption. He was not afraid to speak his mind when others were cowards or motivated purely by the polls. In short, he had guts and conviction of his beliefs. The rest of the party seems to have lost their moral compass. As he goes with our Lord, I am sure he will be welcome. We'll miss you, love and encouragement from our family to his on this day.
-- Renee, Oregon
I have always admired his courage. I enjoyed listening to him speak and reading his life story. I love how he addressed the American people “My Friend(s)”. I can still hear his voice in my head, “county first”. I am an immigrant and I know America is exceptional because of people like John McCain.
-- Sueet, Maryland
John McCain was a true American hero.He did lot's of great things for USA,and for democracy in the world.His leadership will be great example for young generation.He will be remembered as best leader in America,and in the world.
-- Mensur, North Carolina
I wish all American would read this hero store. We must all come together in America and be more like him! I will work harder in my live. God Bless Mr.McCain and His Family
-- Mark, Louisiana
Rest In Peace Senator McCain. You inspired every person to reach higher and to be the best version of themselves, as you were, in service to your country and to mankind. Thank you for your service.
-- Sonia Garcia, Virginia
he was a great senator from the state of Arizona. Anthony , Greenville
-- Anthony, North Carolina
I'm from Indiana he was a great person he will be missed I remember when he ran for president and wondered why he had arm problems then I found out he was a war vet
-- Rev. Joshua, Indiana
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