The life of an American Hero


Abbey Black, News and Opinion Editor

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In July 2017, Senator John McCain announced that he had been diagnosed with cancer. He had a glioblastoma, a rare, incurable and ultimately fatal type of brain tumor. This past August, the 81 year old senator died, leaving his family, colleagues, and Americans across the nation heartbroken. While McCain’s time has passed on this earth, his legacy certainly hasn’t.

John McCain grew up in a military family, so it was no surprise when he graduated from the Naval Academy and entered the Vietnam War in 1958. Years later, his plane was shot down over North Vietnam, and McCain was captured and taken as a prisoner. The North Vietnamese physically tortured McCain; both of his arms and one of his legs were broken, and he was frequently tied up by ropes, which permanently damaged his arms and shoulders. He battled starvation and mental abuse. Yet, when he was offered to be released, McCain denied and stayed with the other American prisoners in North Vietnam.

In 1973, John McCain returned to the United States. He began his career in politics in 1983; he was first elected to the House of Representatives and then later to the Senate. McCain ran for president in both 2000 and 2008. The first time he lost the Republican nomination and the second time he lost the Presidential election. Nevertheless, McCain still played an important role in American politics, and he continued to do so for the remainder of his life.

In a time with increasing national division, McCain’s death brought people together. Republicans and Democrats, men and women, Army and Navy, all stood together to honor the life of Senator John McCain―a man who so perfectly defined the word courage, a man who was willing to sacrifice his life for the nation he loved, a man who devoted his life to serve the public―a true American hero.

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