McCain set fine example that all of us can follow

Not every politician can transcend party lines, especially in this polarizing age.

John McCain managed to accomplish just that.

The 81-year-old Republican congressman and senator from Arizona, also a two-time contender for the presidency, died Saturday at his home in Arizona.

His passing sparked tributes from all over the political world, with memorial events celebrating his life scheduled for the coming days. One of those is a Washington, D.C., public procession, set for Saturday, from the U.S. Capitol to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

The Associated Press reported that Gov. Rick Snyder has ordered that U.S. and Michigan flags be lowered to half-staff for five days in honor of the late senator.

The flags will be lowered on all state buildings and within the state Capitol complex starting today, when McCain will lie in state in Arizona, through Sunday, when he will be laid to rest in Maryland.

McCain accomplished much in his decades of service to his country. For instance, he led bipartisan efforts to improve the immigration system and worked to enhance veterans” health care, empower American Indians, and eliminate waste and fraud in the federal government.

Having been diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor in 2017, McCain still played a pivotal role in politics.

Even while he was gravely ill, McCain cast a negative vote in the Senate against the Republican Party’s drive to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

Suffering from a brain tumor wasn’t the first time McCain experienced hardship. During the Vietnam War, he was shot down over Hanoi and became a prisoner of war in the infamous “Hanoi Hilton,” suffering abuse at the hands of the North Vietnamese.

Before his death, McCain released a farewell statement, which had a Lou Gehrig feel. It read in part: “I have often observed that I am the luckiest person on earth. I feel that way even now as I prepare for the end of my life. I have loved my life, all of it. I have had experiences, adventures and friendships enough for ten satisfying lives, and I am so thankful. Like most people, I have regrets. But I would not trade a day of my life, in good or bad times, for the best day of anyone else’s.

“I owe that satisfaction to the love of my family. No man ever had a more loving wife or children he was prouder of than I am of mine. And I owe it to America. To be connected to America’s causes — liberty, equal justice, respect for the dignity of all people — brings happiness more sublime than life’s fleeting pleasures. Our identities and sense of worth are not circumscribed but enlarged by serving good causes bigger than ourselves.”

Those are words to live by, and we thank McCain for setting such a good example of a life well lived.