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Trump, Obama, others pay tribute as Sen McCain dies at 81

*Describe him as US war hero, maverick and political titan
Tributes from former United States presidents and across the political spectrum have continued to pour in for the late Republican Senator, John McCain, who died at the of 81 on Saturday.

Former US President Barack Obama, who defeated McCain during presidential election on November 4, 2008 in the race to the White House, said they had shared a “fidelity to something higher”.

Former President, George W. Bush described him as “a patriot of the highest order”.

President Donald Trump, whom McCain had strongly criticized, tweeted his “deepest sympathies” to the McCain’s family but did not comment on his life.

Former President George W. Bush, who was also a political opponent of McCain during the 2000 Republican Party primary election, lauded his career in serving the US, first in the military and second in the US Congress.

According to Bush, “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”.

Former President Bill Clinton and his wife, Hillary, said in a statement: “Senator John McCain believed that every citizen has a responsibility to make something of the freedoms given by our constitution, and from his heroic service in the navy to his 35 years in Congress, he lived by his creed every day.

“He was a skilled, tough politician, as well as a trusted colleague alongside whom Hillary was honoured to serve in the Senate.

He frequently put partisanship aside to do what he thought was best for the country, and was never afraid to break the mould if it was the right thing to do.

“I will always be especially grateful for his leadership in our successful efforts to normalize relations with Vietnam. …”
Also, former U.S. President, Jimmy Carter said: “John McCain was a man of honour, a true patriot in the best sense of the word.

Americans will be forever grateful for his heroic military service and for his steadfast integrity as a member of the United States Senate”.

McCain passed on Saturday night at 81 after years of battling with brain cancer, his family announced.

His family said the late Vietnam War veteran, who was hailed as a hero for spending months in enemy prison after being captured, recently demanded that his doctors should stop administering medication because his cancer had reached irrecoverable stage.

McCain, a senator from Arizona, announced he had gioblastoma condition in July 2017, leading many to fear that he would not be around for much longer.

News of McCain’s passing has elicited an outpouring of tribute and sympathy from Americans across the political aisle.

People testify to the respect he earned in the Senate by working across party lines, and is often described as a maverick.

McCain has been absent from the Senate for the most part of 2018, and some media reports said he last voted on December 7, 2017.

He had been confined to a wheelchair for several months. But his condition did not stop him from taking the political centre stage, especially by railing against what he saw as the excesses of President Donald Trump.

It was gathered that the late Arizona Republican, had organized his funeral, and close associates had told the White House in May that he did not want President Trump to be invited.

Instead, Vice President Mike Pence, who served with McCain in Congress, would be asked to attend the service, at the ceremony that would be held at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.

Meanwhile, Pence, in a tweet on McCain’s death, said: “Karen and I send our deepest condolences to Cindy and the entire McCain family on the passing of Senator John McCain. We honour his lifetime of service to this nation in our military and in public life”.

Speaker Paul Ryan also in a tweet said: “John McCain was a giant of our time – not just for the things he achieved, but for who he was and what he fought for all his life. He will always be listed among freedom’s most gallant and faithful servants”.

Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau said: “Senator John McCain was an American patriot and hero whose sacrifices for his country, and lifetime of public service, were an inspiration to millions. Canadians join Americans tonight in celebrating his life and mourning his passing”.

Former Vice President Al Gore said “McCain was an American hero and a true patriot. I always admired and respected John from the opposite side of the aisle, because he thrived under pressure, and would work to find common ground, no matter how hard”.

Sarah Palin, McCain’s running mate in 2008, said: “Today, we lost an American original. Sen. John McCain was a maverick and a fighter, never afraid to stand for his beliefs.

“John never took the easy path in life – and through sacrifice and suffering he inspired others to serve something greater than self”.

A senator, Lindsey Graham, a very close friend of McCain at the Senate, said: “America and freedom have lost one of her greatest champions. ….And I’ve lost one of my dearest friends and mentor”.

Nancy Pelosi, the Minority Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives also mourned McCain, saying that “he was a patriotic, courageous hero who served his country above all. You will be missed, Senator McCain. May you rest in peace”.

Sen. Bernie Sanders tweeted: “As you go through life, you meet few truly great people. John McCain was one of them.

His dedication to his country and the military were unsurpassed, and maybe most of all, he was a truth teller – never afraid to speak truth to power in an era where that has become all too rare.”

John McCain was born shortly before World War II, at the dawn of the American Century, a time when the US was at the peak of its political, military and cultural power.

He dies at what could be considered that age’s twilight, as the nation turns inward and contemplates walls, literal and metaphorical, to insulate itself from the rest of this world.

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