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A True American Hero for the Ages

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Author's Notes: With his recent passing, this narrative tribute I wrote in honor of Senator John McCain speaks for itself. At this particularly sad time for America with regard to the senator's recent death, words and thoughts are all we have to express how each of us feel. I tried to present a coherent word picture here of a number of salient items and aspects of Senator McCain's life and accomplishments as a leader, politician, war hero, and human being. I hope I've captured this particular essence in my tribute to him as a "True American Hero for the Ages." (Gary Bateman - September 1, 2018) (Narrative)

Thematic Categories: america, celebration, character, inspiration, patriotic, political, and tribute.

A True American Hero for the Ages

I thought it would be most appropriate to take a moment to
reflect on the life and public service of the late U.S. senator,
retired U.S. naval officer and aviator, and military war hero
from state of Arizona, John Sidney McCain III, who is, for me,
a “True American Hero for the Ages.”

Since I am a retired U.S. military veteran as well, there are, for
me, certain qualities and attributes that clearly define, distinguish,
and portray the essence of what made Senator McCain’s life, service,
and commitment to the nation he loved and selflessly served—so
special and important.

Throughout his sixty-three years of military, political, and public 
service, Senator McCain embodied and personified the calling of
Duty, Honor, and Country. His leadership and character, and love
of country have been beyond reproach. And, beyond the churlishness
of American politics, both past and present, he always believed in
putting the country first and foremost as reflected by his many noted
actions and unwavering support in the defense of democracy and good
governance in the United States of America and worldwide.

During the Vietnam War, the time McCain spent as an American
prisoner of war in the infamous “Hanoi Hilton” during 1967-1973,
speaks volumes to his personal bravery and courage in the face of
horrific torture, abuse, and terrible treatment—and to his personal 
belief and commitment in standing together in solidarity with all
of his fellow POWs.

Senator McCain believed in the spirit of true bipartisanship during
his long service and time in both the U.S. House of Representatives,
and later in the U.S. Senate. This was very important to him, and was
a demonstrable cornerstone in how he conducted himself as both a
congressman and senator throughout his long political career.

Reaching across the aisle and working with the political opposition
on many occasions was one of Senator McCain’s hallmark virtues
in seeking to find realistic and meaningful solutions to many problems
in American society, and in helping to address the continuous challenges
facing America and her allies in the realm of foreign affairs.

Senator McCain was results-oriented, and fervently believed in getting 
things done! He was a devout Atlanticist and supporter of NATO and
other international treaties that are significant to America. He recognized
the critical importance of “American Exceptionalism” in the international
community, and clearly saw America as that quintessential bulwark of
freedom in the world.

Doing the right thing was always important to Senator McCain regardless
of the challenge or task at hand. He also stressed the urgency in rejecting
the politics of fear, bigotry, and division in our country, and in our society
writ large. Seeking out and speaking to the “Better Angels of Our Nature”
was another notion and attribute he felt that all Americans should strive for
and fully embrace in their interactions with one another.

Finally, I will always remember Senator McCain for his innate sense of
humor that he oft displayed in public forums, and for his unabashed love
of country that he constantly reflected in his many of his speeches and all
of the positive deeds he accomplished during his lifetime.

May God Bless. Rest in Peace.

Gary Bateman, Copyright © All Rights Reserved
September 1, 2018 (Narrative Tribute)

Copyright © | Year Posted 2018

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Date: 10/2/2018 9:02:00 PM
Hi Gary, I came to the states 2 years after living in Montreal for 27 years. I had no idea about politics, except gradually I started watching the news, reading a little bit. For me i also liked a lot John Mcain personality, and i was also so sad when he died. He spoke the truth, very direct. I started likely him a lot, and was so so sad when he passed away. What you wrote deserved to be written about him in that admirable way. Bravo. Bless his soul. Terry
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Gary Bateman
Date: 10/3/2018 11:22:00 AM
Hello Therese, Many Thanks to you for your very gracious note here about narrative tribute to Senator John McCain. His recent passing is indeed very sad, both for his family and our country. I wrote this tribute poem to him, both as a poet and as a fellow veteran. It's great to see the outpouring emotion and affection for Senator McCain and his family. Cheers and Best, Gary
Date: 10/1/2018 6:21:00 AM
How anyone can say that he "wasn't a war hero"...I will never understand. A prisoner of war, really sacrifices and suffers; to survive it and come home after the battle makes a true hero. People go into the military knowing that they may not come home; that alone, shows a great deal of courage. A fitting tribute to a fellow serviceman. Well done.
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Gary Bateman
Date: 10/1/2018 1:17:00 PM
Hello MLK, I really appreciate your comment!! When Mr. Trump mouthed those infamous words against John McCain, he greatly angered many of us fellow veterans in military community that have honorably served our country. Something that this president has never done, and never will. Trump will never truly understand nor acknowledge the depth of what John McCain suffered as an American POW at the Hanoi Hilton in the service of his country. Shame On Mr. Trump!! God Bless Senator McCain!! Cheers, Gary
Date: 10/1/2018 12:49:00 AM
Gary, I didn’t agree with Senator McCain on a number of issues, but there is no doubt in my mind he is a true American hero. He always wanted to do the right thing as he knew it, and he understood the influence of money on the political system. He wanted to reduce that influence. He will be missed for certain by those of us who believe in honor.
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Gary Bateman
Date: 10/1/2018 1:25:00 PM
Hello Duke, Thanks for your note and great comments here. I also didn't always agree with Senator McCain because of my more progressive views on many issues. On the military and national defense, however, I was very much in tune with his views. He was a very honorable man for sure that most always sought a bipartisan consensus on issues. He was never afraid to confront Mr. Trump when necessary. Something the politicians of today should take heed of!! He will be missed for sure!! Best, Gary
Date: 9/5/2018 4:04:00 AM
An excellent tribute to a great man, Gary. Thank you for sharing this. The background of John McCain was interesting to read. T.J
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Gary Bateman
Date: 9/6/2018 4:23:00 PM
Hello T.J. Thanks very much for your read and comment here. Very pleased that you liked my tribute here for John McCain. A true hero and a stalwart defender of freedom, peace, and democracy. Best Always, Gary
Date: 9/3/2018 10:45:00 AM
A superb tribute my friend...I'm sure Mr. McCain is smiling and & light...^WW^
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Gary Bateman
Date: 9/3/2018 4:23:00 PM
Hello WW My Friend!! Many Thanks for your read and gracious comment here. John McCain left us with a deep sense of hope, inspiration, and positive determination. A true man for the ages, and an unabashed prophet of freedom and democracy. Cheers and Best Wishes, Gary
Date: 9/1/2018 4:55:00 PM
An amazing tribute, I will re read this one later as well!
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Gary Bateman
Date: 9/2/2018 5:02:00 PM
Thanks Art!! I am very pleased that you liked my tribute here. Senator McCain's life was one of hope, inspiration, love of country, and the continuous nurturing of freedom and democracy -- among many other positive things. Best Wishes, Gary
Date: 9/1/2018 3:29:00 PM
An excellent tribute you have written Gary. Thanks for sharing :)
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Gary Bateman
Date: 9/1/2018 3:37:00 PM
Many Thanks Dear Heidi!! I am very pleased that you liked my tribute here. It's the least I could do to honor Senator McCain and his service to our country. Best Wishes, Gary
Date: 9/1/2018 3:20:00 PM
WOW! You wrote an awesome tribute Gary to a great human being....a hero and a senator..he spoke his mind..always on the right side of things. I share your sentiments..kudos for this epic poem.
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Gary Bateman
Date: 9/1/2018 3:27:00 PM
Thanks Vijay for your gracious comment here and for your endorsement of what I wrote here in honor to Senator McCain and his memory. Yes, for sure, he was all about doing the right thing in all situations. He will be sorely missed not only here in America, but on the world stage as well. Best Always, Gary
Date: 9/1/2018 3:07:00 PM
Well said, for one old vet to another, Capt. McCain was a true hero and should always be remembered as such. Well done Gary...
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Gary Bateman
Date: 9/1/2018 3:12:00 PM
Many Thanks Charlie for your very kind words and thoughts here. Yes, for sure, Captain McCain should always be honored and remembered as such -- without a doubt!! Best Wishes, Gary
Date: 9/1/2018 3:06:00 PM
Gary, you have written a beautiful dedication to Senator John McCain. I only know of him from news reports in the UK. From what I hear he was indeed a true patriot May he Rest In Peace. Tom
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Gary Bateman
Date: 9/1/2018 3:23:00 PM
Hello Tom, Yes -- for sure, Senator John McCain was a true patriot as I indicated in my narrative tribute. What he stood for in support of democracy and in rejecting the politics of fear, bigotry, and division in civil society is quite telling given the current negative political climate in the USA and in other democracies in the world similarly challenged. A True Patriot he was!! Cheers and Best, Gary