Vietnam war hero-turned-United States Senator John McCain died on Saturday, his office said. He was 81.
“Senator John Sidney McCain III died at 4.28 pm on August 25, 2018,” his office said in a statement, according to AFP. “With the senator when he passed were his wife Cindy and their family.”
McCain was diagnosed with brain cancer in July 2017 and had been undergoing medical treatment. His family said McCain on Friday decided to stop his treatment, reported BBC. “The days and years to come will not be the same without my dad – but they will be good days, filled with life and love, because of the example he lived for us,” his daughter Meghan tweeted. McCain had earlier survived multiple bouts of skin cancer.
The 2008 Republican presidential nominee was a fighter pilot during the Vietnam War. After his plane was shot down, he spent over five years as a prisoner of war. During custody, he was tortured and was left with lasting disabilities.
Tributes poured in from all quarters. “My deepest sympathies and respect go out to the family of Senator John McCain,” tweeted US President Donald Trump, who McCain had severely criticised. According to CNN, Trump will not be invited to the funeral, while former Presidents Barack Obama and George W Bush will be asked to give eulogies.
“Our hearts and prayers are with you!” Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said: “America and Freedom have lost one of her greatest champions …. and I’ve lost one of my dearest friends and mentor.”
Barack Obama and wife Michelle, and George W Bush also offered their condolences. “Some voices are so vibrant, it is hard to think of them stilled,” Bush said in a statement.
“Some lives are so vivid, it is difficult to imagine them ended. Some voices are so vibrant, it is hard to think of them stilled. John McCain was a man of deep conviction and a patriot of the highest order. He was a public servant in the finest traditions of our country. And to me, he was a friend whom I’ll deeply miss. Laura and I send our heartfelt sympathies to Cindy and the entire McCain family, and our thanks to God for the life of John McCain.”— George W Bush