John McCain’s touching final letter : ‘I lived and died a proud American’

image: AssociatedPress

 

A final letter written by Sen. John McCain was read by his spokesperson Rick Davis on Monday, where the former Vietnam POW and patriot lawmaker called himself the “luckiest person on earth.” In a touching farewell letter written before his death, U.S. Senator John McCain thanked the American people for the “privilege of serving” them.

The 81-year-old, who had been elected into the Senate six times, also expressed his gratitude to his fellow Americans and offered words of wisdom for the future of politics. McCain, who ran for president in 2008 against former president Barack Obama and was a vocal Trump critic, passed away on Saturday after choosing to discontinue treatment for brain cancer.

Rick Davis, the McCain family spokesperson and the former presidential campaign manager for John McCain, read the farewell statement at a press conference in Phoenix, Ariz., on Monday.

Image result for rick davis john mccain

Rick Davis

“Thank you for the privilege of serving you and for the rewarding life that service in uniform and in public office has allowed me to lead,” the statement reads.

“I have tried to serve our country honorably. I have made mistakes, but I hope my love for America will be weighed favorably against them.”

McCain served in the U.S. forces during the Vietnam War, and was taken prisoner. He lived most of his life in the public eye, surviving war, torture, scandal, political stardom and failure. But he said despite any issues, he treasured his many experiences.

“I have loved my life, all of it. I have had experiences, adventures and friendships enough for ten satisfying lives, and I am so thankful,” he wrote. “Like most people, I have regrets. But I would not trade a day of my life, in good or bad times, for the best day of anyone else’s.”

He praised his family, and the American people, and attributed his happiness to them, saying he was happy to use the phrase “fellow Americans” the most.

McCain often spoke out against current U.S. President Donald Trump, even though they were part of the same political party — drawing heavy criticism for voting against the GOP health care bid six months into Trump’s presidency.

But he also offered advice for the future of politics in America — denouncing the divide between the two parties as “tribalism.”

“We weaken our greatness when we confuse our patriotism with tribal rivalries that have sown resentment and hatred and violence in all the corners of the globe,” he wrote.

Though he didn’t mention Trump by name, there is speculation the final sentences in the letter are about him.

“We argue and compete and sometimes even vilify each other in our raucous public debates. But we have always had so much more in common with each other than in disagreement. If only we remember that and give each other the benefit of the presumption that we all love our country we will get through these challenging times.

“Do not despair of our present difficulties but believe always in the promise and greatness of America.”

Read the full statement below:

My fellow Americans, whom I have gratefully served for sixty years, and especially my fellow Arizonans,

Thank you for the privilege of serving you and for the rewarding life that service in uniform and in public office has allowed me to lead. I have tried to serve our country honorably. I have made mistakes, but I hope my love for America will be weighed favorably against them.

I have often observed that I am the luckiest person on earth. I feel that way even now as I prepare for the end of my life. I have loved my life, all of it. I have had experiences, adventures and friendships enough for ten satisfying lives, and I am so thankful. Like most people, I have regrets. But I would not trade a day of my life, in good or bad times, for the best day of anyone else’s.

I owe that satisfaction to the love of my family. No man ever had a more loving wife or children he was prouder of than I am of mine. And I owe it to America. To be connected to America’s causes — liberty, equal justice, respect for the dignity of all people — brings happiness more sublime than life’s fleeting pleasures. Our identities and sense of worth are not circumscribed but enlarged by serving good causes bigger than ourselves.

‘Fellow Americans’ — that association has meant more to me than any other. I lived and died a proud American. We are citizens of the world’s greatest republic, a nation of ideals, not blood and soil. We are blessed and are a blessing to humanity when we uphold and advance those ideals at home and in the world. We have helped liberate more people from tyranny and poverty than ever before in history. We have acquired great wealth and power in the process.

We weaken our greatness when we confuse our patriotism with tribal rivalries that have sown resentment and hatred and violence in all the corners of the globe. We weaken it when we hide behind walls, rather than tear them down, when we doubt the power of our ideals, rather than trust them to be the great force for change they have always been.

We are three-hundred-and-twenty-five million opinionated, vociferous individuals. We argue and compete and sometimes even vilify each other in our raucous public debates. But we have always had so much more in common with each other than in disagreement. If only we remember that and give each other the benefit of the presumption that we all love our country we will get through these challenging times. We will come through them stronger than before. We always do.

Ten years ago, I had the privilege to concede defeat in the election for president. I want to end my farewell to you with the heartfelt faith in Americans that I felt so powerfully that evening.

I feel it powerfully still.

Do not despair of our present difficulties but believe always in the promise and greatness of America, because nothing is inevitable here. Americans never quit. We never surrender. We never hide from history. We make history.

*with a file from the Associated Press

GlobalNews

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