The flag atop the U.S. Capitol building flew at half-mast last week in honor of Senator John McCain, of Arizona. McCain died on Saturday, August 25. He was 81.
The son and grandson of U.S. Navy admirals, McCain became a Navy pilot. In 1967, during the Vietnam War, his plane was shot down over the city of Hanoi. He was captured and held as a prisoner of war. He turned down an early release unless American soldiers captured before him were freed too. After his release, in 1973, McCain went on to pursue politics. He championed national security and veterans’ issues during his 35 years in Congress. He ran for president in 2000 and 2008.
Former vice president Joe Biden paid tribute to McCain. “John McCain’s life is proof that some truths are timeless. Character. Courage. Integrity. Honor,” he said. “A life lived embodying those truths casts a long, long shadow.”