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President Barack Obama speaks at John McCain's funeral

May 29, 2021
- John's beloved family, Mrs. McCain Cindy and the McCain children President Mrs. Bush Introduces Vice President Clinton and Mrs. Biden Vice President Sr. Cheney, Vice President Gore and, as John would say, my friends, we come to celebrate an extraordinary man, a warrior, a statesman, a patriot who embodied the best of America. President Bush and I are among the lucky few who competed against John at the highest levels. In politics, he made us better


s, just as he made the Senate better, he just says he made this country better, so for someone like John to ask you, while he's still alive, to stand up and talk about him when he's gone. , it is a precious and rare honor now that John called me with that request earlier this year.
president barack obama speaks at john mccain s funeral
I admit sadness and also some surprise, but after our conversation ended I realized how well it captured some of John's essential qualities. To begin with, John liked to be unpredictable, even Lowell, on the contrary, had no interest in conforming to a prepackaged version of what a senator should be and did not want a monument that was prepackaged or also displayed John's disdain for self-pity, he had been to hell and back and yet somehow he never lost his energy or his optimism or his enthusiasm for life, so cancer didn't scare him and he would keep that optimistic spirit until the end, Too stubborn to sit still, stubborn as always, fiercely devoted to his friends and, above all, his family, he demonstrated his irreverence, his common sense. humorous, a bit mischievous, after all, what better way to have the last laugh than to have George and I say good things about him in front of a national audience and, above all, he showed great nasif spirit and an ability to see the past differences. looking for common ground and in fact on the surface John and I couldn't have been more different, we were from different generations, I come from a broken home and I never knew that my father John was heaven and belonged to one of America's most distinguished military families. a reputation for keeping calm John not so much we were standard bearers for different American political traditions and during my presidency Jon never hesitated to tell me when he thought I was screwing up, which by his calculations was about once a day, but despite all our differences for All the times we argued I never tried to hide and I think John came to understand the admiration I had felt for him for a long time, according to himself John was a rebellious young man in his case, that is understandable, what a way quick to distinguish himself when You are the son and grandson of the admiral and then mutinied, although he came to the conclusion that the only way to truly leave your mark on the world is to commit to something bigger than yourself and, for John, dad It meant answering the highest of callings by serving his country in a time of war, others this week and this morning have spoken of the depths of his torment and his courage there, in the cells of Hanoi, when day after day, year after year, that youthful iron was tempered into steel, and that brings to mind something that Hemingway wrote and the book that Megan referred to today as her favorite book is just one day of all the days that will exist, but What will happen in all the other days to come may depend on what you do today in captivity.
president barack obama speaks at john mccain s funeral

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president barack obama speaks at john mccain s funeral...

John learned in ways that few of us will ever understand the meaning of those words, that every moment, every day, every choice is a test and John McCain passed that test over and over again and that's why when John talked about virtues like service and duty did not ring empty. to him they were not just words, it was a truth that he had lived and for which he was willing to die and it forced even the most cynical of us to consider what we were doing for our country, why we could risk everything and much has been said this week about How nonconformist John was now, in fact, John was a pretty conservative guy, believe me, I was on the receiving end of some of those votes, but he understood that some principles transcend politics and that some values ​​transcend the party from which he came. considered part. his duty to defend those principles and defend those values ​​John cared about the institutions of self-government, our Constitution, our Bill of Rights, the rule of law, the separation of powers, even the arcane rules and procedures of the Senate, he knew that in a nation as large and bustling and diverse as ours those institutions those rules those norms are what bring us together to give shape and order to our common life even when we disagree, especially when we disagree John believed in honest argument and By listening to other points of view he understood that if we acquire the habit of twisting the truth to suit political expediency or partisan orthodoxy our democracy will not work that is why I was willing to oppose his own party sometimes occasionally working on the other side of the hallway on campaign finance reform and immigration reform which is why he defended a free and independent press as vital to our democratic debate and the fact that it earned him good coverage didn't hurt either.
president barack obama speaks at john mccain s funeral
John understood as JFK understood as Ronald Reagan understood that part of what makes our country great is that our membership is not based on our lineage or what we resemble our last name HRH, it is not based on where our parents came from or grandparents or how recently they arrived, but in adherence to a common creed that we are all created equal and endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights, as mentioned today. and we've seen footage this week of John rejecting supporters who challenged my patriotism during the 2008 campaign. I appreciated it but wasn't surprised when Joe Liberman said it was John's instinct.
president barack obama speaks at john mccain s funeral
I have never seen John treat anyone differently because of their race. or religion or gender and I am sure that in those moments that were referenced during the campaign he saw himself defending the character of America, not just mine, before he considered it imperative that every citizen who loves this country will treat all people fairly and finally. While John and I disagreed on all types of foreign policy issues, we stood united in America's role as the only indispensable nation, believing that with great power and great blessings comes great responsibility; That burden is borne most heavily by our men and women in uniform, service members like Doug.
Jimmy and Jack, who followed in their father's footsteps, as well as the families who serve alongside our troops, but John understood that our security and our influence depended not only on our military power, not only on our wealth, not only on our ability to subject others to our will. will but on our ability to inspire others with our adherence to a set of universal values ​​such as the rule of law and human rights and an insistence on the God-given dignity of every human being, and of course John was the first to telling us he was not perfect like all of us who work in public service he had an ego like all of us there was no doubt that some votes he made some commitments he made some decisions that he made and I wish I could add it's no secret it's been mentioned that He had a temper and when he snapped he was a force of nature, it was a wonder to watch his jaw clenching his face, turning his eyes red, boring a hole in you, not that I'd ever experienced it first hand, but to know John was to know that. .
As quickly as his passions could flare, he was just as quick to forgive and ask for forgiveness. He knew more than most about his own flaws in his blind spots. He knew how to laugh at himself and that self-awareness made him even more convincing, yes, us. I didn't announce it, but from time to time during the course of my presidency, John would come to the White House and we would just sit and talk in the Oval Office, just the two of us, we would talk politics, we would talk about family, we would talk. about the state of our politics and our disagreements didn't go away during these private conversations, they were real and often deep, but we enjoyed the time we shared away from the bright lights, we laughed with each other, and we learned from each other. and we never doubted the other man's sincerity or the other man's patriotism or that at the end of the day we were on the same team we never doubted that we were on the same team despite all our differences we shared a fidelity to the ideals for which As generations of Americans have marched, fought, sacrificed and given their lives, we considered our political battles a privilege, an opportunity to serve as stewards of those ideals here at home and do everything we can to promote them around the world.
We saw this country as a place. where anything is possible in citizenship, citizenship as an obligation to ensure that it remains that way forever and more than once during his career, John made comparisons to Teddy Roosevelt and I'm sure you've noticed that Roosevelt's man's speech at the arena seems tailor-made for John. You know it, Roosevelt


and those who strive and dare to do great things, who sometimes win and sometimes fall short, but always enjoy a good fight, in contrast to those cold and timid souls who do not even know neither victory nor defeat, isn't that the spirit we have? celebrate this week as we strive to be better, to do better, to be worthy of the great heritage that our founders bestowed upon so much of our politics, our public life, our public discourse can seem small, petty, petty traffic, bombast, name-calling, false and fabricated controversies.
Outrage is a politics that pretends to be brave and tough but is actually born from fear John called us to be bigger than that he called us to be better than that today is just one day and every day we will ever be but what will happen In all the other days to come may depend on what you do today, what better way to honor John McCain's life of service than, in the best way possible, to follow his example to demonstrate that the willingness to enter the arena and The The fight for this country is not reserved for a few, it is open to all and, in fact, it is required of all of us as citizens of this great Republic.
This is perhaps how we honor investment by recognizing that there are things bigger than party or ambition. or money, fame or power, that there are some things worth risking everything for for principles that are eternal truths that endure at their best. John showed us what that means, so we are all deeply indebted to him, God bless John McCain and God. Blessed is this country that served so well.

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