Mon, Aug 27, 2018 - Page 1 News List

US Senator John McCain dies at 81

AFP, WASHINGTON

US Senator John McCain speaks after being awarded the 2017 Liberty Medal at the Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on Oct. 16 last year.

Photo: Reuters

US Senator John McCain, a war hero and towering figure in US politics known for reaching across the aisle in an increasingly divided nation, died on Saturday following a battle with brain cancer. He was 81.

The senator’s passing marked the end of a 35-year political career that brought the independent-minded Republican within reach of the White House as his party’s presidential nominee.

“It’s been quite a ride,” McCain, who was tortured during five years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, wrote in a memoir published in May, The Restless Wave.

“I’ve known great passions, seen amazing wonders, fought in a war and helped make peace. I made a small place for myself in the story of America and the history of my times,” he wrote.

McCain, who was being treated at his ranch near Sedona, Arizona, was surrounded by his wife, Cindy, and his family during his final hours.

In Washington, flags on Capitol Hill and the White House were lowered to half-mast in his honor.

McCain’s body will lie in state in the Capitol rotunda ahead of a funeral ceremony at the National Cathedral, the New York Times reported.

He will then lie in state in the Arizona state capitol and be buried at Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. Dates for the events have not yet been announced.

He made it known that he did not want US President Donald Trump to attend his funeral, US media reported.

Trump, who had mocked McCain’s war record, said he sent his “deepest sympathies and respect.”

A rare Republican critic of Trump, McCain accused the president of “naivete,” “egotism” and of sympathizing with autocrats.

He cast a decisive vote last year that killed Republican attempts to repeal former US president Barack Obama’s healthcare reforms, something Trump never forgave.

All living former US presidents lined up to praise McCain’s deep integrity.

“We are all in his debt,” Obama said. “We shared, for all our differences, a fidelity to something higher — the ideals for which generations of Americans and immigrants alike have fought, marched and sacrificed.”

McCain “was a man of deep conviction and a patriot of the highest order,” George W. Bush said.

Bill Clinton praised McCain, saying he “frequently put partisanship aside,” while George H.W. Bush hailed him as “a public servant of the rarest courage.”

McCain “was a man of honor, a true patriot in the best sense of the word,” Jimmy Carter wrote. “Americans will be forever grateful for his heroic military service & his steadfast integrity.”

The senator had requested that both Obama and Geroge W. Bush deliver eulogies at his funeral, US media reported.

McCain spent more than three decades in the Senate, looming large in debates over war and peace and the moral direction of the nation.

He had served as a US representative from 1983 to 1987.

McCain had been away from the Senate floor since December last year, remaining at his ranch for treatment of glioblastoma.

“He was a great fire who burned bright, and we lived in his light and warmth,” said Meghan McCain, one his seven children.

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