YAVGOP Executive Committee Statement on the Passing of Senator John S. McCain
August 26 in Cornville, Arizona featured monsoon storms, rainbows, and a fiery red sunset, all adding to the natural beauty of the red rocks of nearby Sedona. This was a fitting setting to the last breaths of Senator John McCain, himself a force of nature in Arizona politics for over three and a half decades.
Although his scope was national, Senator McCain shared our love for the natural beauty and openness of Yavapai County enough to make it his refuge from the attention and pressures of Washington, D.C. and the national stage. We remember fondly his numerous visits to Prescott, including a midnight rally on the Yavapai County Courthouse steps on the eve of the 2008 presidential election.
As a naval officer, John McCain lived by the creed “Duty, Honor, Country.” He lived his entire adult life in service to his country. After surviving two brushes with near-death, he spent five years in a North Vietnamese prison, beaten and tortured in life-altering physical and psychological ways. Having survived all of this, he would have had every excuse to spend the rest of his life in comfort and rest.
But the draw of service to his beloved nation was too strong for John McCain to resist. The last 36 years of his life were spent in service to his adopted home state and the country for which he had fought and suffered. He brought the lessons learned during both his military service and his time as a P.O.W. to politics and governance. Tireless in his efforts to support the defense of the nation and improve its standing with both allies and foes, McCain traveled extensively and met with multitudes of world leaders. But he was also motivated to improve our domestic affairs, highlighted by his efforts to implement campaign finance reform. Fitting with his creed, he also consistently and vigorously advocated for his fellow veterans.
Fitting for a warrior raised in a family of warriors, McCain was fearless in his political dealings as well. He fought hard for what he believed in, whether that meant fighting those from the opposition party or his own. Seeing the tributes to him from those across the entire political spectrum highlights just how well he was able to battle vigorously on policy issues while still earning the respect and admiration of those he opposed. Much of our nation’s political dysfunction today stems from the inability of many others to duplicate this ability.
Almost everyone who was involved with or followed the career of John McCain could probably find something in his actions that displeased them. But in the political arena, this simply highlights the fact that he was never one of those “see which way the wind is blowing” politicians, looking simply to bolster their own popularity. In the end, he earned the admiration of political allies and foes and of citizens across the political divide.
We offer deep condolences to Cindy McCain and all the senator’s family and friends. While we grieve with them, we also express our thanks to his family for the sacrifices that came with having to share him with the people of Arizona and our nation over the course of his life.
Godspeed, John McCain.
Yavapai County Republican Executive Committee
Mark Sensmeier, Chair
Phil Goode, 1st Vice Chair
Craig Kiggens, 2nd Vice Chair
Roger Reinsch, Treasurer
Sandra Laney, Secretary
Alex Harris, Assistant Treasurer
Anne Roper, Assistant Secretary