"The world is a beautiful place worth fighting for, and I hate to leave it." When Ernest Hemingway's Robert Jordan is wounded at the end of "Whom The Hour Strikes", waiting for his last fight, these are his last thoughts.
My father had every reason to believe that the world was a terrible place. My dad had every reason to think that the world was not worth fighting for. My dad had every reason to think that the world was worth going. He did not think about all these things. Like the hero of his favorite book, John McCain took the opposite view. You had to have good luck to have such a good life.
I am here before you today, saying the words I never wanted to say, giving the speech I never wanted to give, feeling the loss I never wanted to feel. My dad is gone.
John Sidney McCain III was many things. He was a sailor, he was an aviator, he was a husband, he was a warrior, he was a prisoner, he was a hero, he was a congressman, he was a senator, he was appointed president of the United States. These are all titles and roles of a life that was well lived. They are not the greatest of his titles or the most important of his roles. He was a great man.
We gather here to mourn the passing away of American magnificence, the real thing, not the cheap rhetoric of people who will never so readily approach the victim, nor the opportunistic appropriation of those who comfort and privilege themselves throughout their lives suffered and served life. He was a big fire that burned brightly.