Close friend and advisor to Senator John McCain, Rick Davis, presented the senator’s final letter to the American people on Monday. The reading followed McCain’s death on Saturday at age 81.
True to form, McCain emphasized his American pride in the letter, writing that “that association has meant more to me than any other. I lived and died a proud American. We are citizens of the world’s greatest republic, a nation of ideals, not blood and soil.”
He went on to address the tumultuous political climate plaguing the nation today and encouraged the unification of a polarized people.
“We are 325 million opinionated, vociferous individuals. We argue and compete and sometimes even vilify each other in our raucous public debates. But we have always had so much more in common with each other than in disagreement,” wrote McCain. “If only we remember that and give each other the benefit of the presumption that we all love our country, we will get through these challenging times. We will come through them stronger than before, we always do.”
A service is planned at the National Cathedral in Washington for Saturday, at which former presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush are scheduled to speak, as Davis announced (per Variety). In addition, former Senator Joseph Lieberman and Meghan McCain will speak, with Renee Fleming singing “Danny Boy.” Current President Donald Trump—of whom Senator McCain was often critical—is not expected to attend.
McCain finished his letter on a note that reflected his many years in service of the American military and later the American people, pointing to the perseverance of the people and encouraging hope: “Do not despair of our present difficulties but believe always in the promise and greatness of America, because nothing is inevitable here,” wrote the senator. “Americans never quit. We never surrender.”
Read McCain’s full letter below.