The Cost of Freedom

Rachel Soo

John McCain, former senator and POW, died on August 25th, 2018.

Taken by Rachel Soo

 According to, only 1 out of every 143 men are diagnosed with brain cancer, but of that statistic, only a lucky 36% are predicted to survive.

    John McCain, a national hero of war and a confident political figure, was not part of the 36%. At 4:28 PM on Saturday, August 25th, John McCain died.

    This veteran, decorated with the Silver Star, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, and Distinguished Flying Cross, was an important role model in our country. Senator McCain was a proud aviator and soldier.

    For five and a half years, he was trapped in enemy territory and tortured for our country. Three and a half of those years were spent in solitary confinement, where his only company was himself. But when it came to making a difference, he didn’t stop there.

    McCain was the Navy’s liaison to the US Senate briefly before he became Arizona’s representative, where he stayed for six years.

    This ambitious man also ran for president on two separate occasions, proving to be a tough competitor for former presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

    Although he did not win either time, McCain has been far from absent in our current political scene. Just two years ago, in 2016, he faced a serious dispute with our current President, Donald Trump.

    As the elections were still in play, Trump spoke out against this prisoner of war. He went as far as to say that McCain was only a “war hero because he was captured” and that he liked “people that weren’t captured.”

    This blatant attack may have seemed like it rendered Mr. Trump with the last word, but more recent events say the opposite.

    The death of such a remarkable political figure was saddening, causing people alike and different to gather and commemorate the veteran. Both President Bush and President Obama, John McCain’s former opponents in his running for president, attended and gave separate eulogies.

    Republicans and Democrats, people of different races and ethnicities, everyone met to remember what an important man John McCain was.

    That is, everyone except for our current head of state, Donald Trump.

    Senator McCain had been planning this disheartening occasion for quite some time, having found out that he carried a terminal brain tumor just over a year ago. It was made explicitly clear that Mr. Trump was not welcomed at the four day memorial.

    Unlike his wife, who delivered a short message thanking McCain for his service, Trump commented on the event with a short, 21-word tweet that reads “My deepest sympathies and respect go out to the family of Senator John McCain. Our hearts and prayers are with you!”

    He made no mention of the years of service Mr. McCain dedicated to our country through his years of military service, and no formal proclamation was made at all regarding the incident, despite the flags being flown at half mast.

    Although the President may not formally recognize the valor and great impact John McCain had on our country, we thank him for his service and proudly remember the changes he made in our great country.



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