To the Editor: Resistance, resilience and duty. These are the earmarks of a hero and statesman. John McCain earned his place in history.
Resistance is not an easy character trait for an officer where rank and order prevail. Newt Gingrich once said of McCain that he was the kind of guy who once in a while had to kick someone in the shins.
After six years as a POW in Hanoi, McCain returned to the U.S., emaciated and broken-boned, his spirit intact. He started his life over by entering a new battlefield: politics. Recognized for his tendency to speak up, push back and confront, his reputation grew. Across party lines, McCain showed he could also listen. He often found the pain of mudslinging as potent as some war scars. He proved up to the task.
The attendees at McCain’s funeral services reflect this diversity and included women and men, Democrats and Republicans, doves and hawks.
McCain worked with John Kerry and Bill Clinton to normalize relations with Vietnam. McCain endured torture, but would not condone it after 9/11. We are better than this, he said.