Senator John McCain passed away Saturday at the age of 81, after a battle with brain cancer. The longtime Arizona Senator and presidential candidate rose to be a voice for bi-partisan compromise after losing the 2008 election to Barack Obama. He will be remembered as an American hero, someone who lived by a code of honor and dignity. He overcame adversity, facing five-and-a-half years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam before retiring from the Navy and starting his career in politics.
His legacy will be remembered for a long time in American politics. How individuals choose to remember him will vary, but the following quotes show the depth of his character and his ability to inspire others.
1. “Fear is the opportunity for courage, not proof of cowardice.”
2. “Our shared values define us more than our differences. And acknowledging those shared values can see us through our challenges today if we have the wisdom to trust in them again.”
3. “Courage is the enforcing virtue, the one that makes possible all the other virtues common to exceptional leaders: honesty, integrity, confidence, compassion and humility.”
4. “Glory belongs to the act of being constant to something greater than yourself, to a cause, to your principles, to the people on whom you rely and who rely on you in return.”
5. “In the real world, as lived and experienced by real people, the demand for human rights and dignity, the longing for liberty and justice and opportunity, the hatred of oppression and corruption and cruelty is reality.”
6. “Many good people mistake their reputation for their character. It is a mistake I have made many, many times.”
7. “America’s greatest strength has always been its hopeful vision of human progress.”
8. “Americans never quit. We never surrender. We never hide from history. We make history.”
9. “Nothing in life is more liberating than to fight for a cause larger than yourself, something that encompasses you, but is not defined by your existence alone.”
10. “We are a country with a conscience.”
11. “It is your character, and your character alone, that will make your life happy or unhappy. That is all that really passes for destiny. And you choose it. No one else can give it to you or deny it to you. No rival can steal it from you. And no friend can give it to you. Others can encourage you to make the right choices or discourage you. But you choose.”
John McCain will be missed.