NNPA Official Statement on the Passing of Senator John McCain

“John McCain’s integrity and courage were his greatest virtues. His national leadership example is still needed today not only in the U.S. Senate, but also in every state, city and town across America.”

Washington, DC, August 27, 2018 — The National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) extends sincerest condolences to the family of Senator John McCain. Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis Jr, President and CEO of the NNPA emphasized, “John McCain’s integrity and courage were his greatest virtues. His national leadership example is still needed today not only in the U.S. Senate, but also in every state, city and town across America.”

Dorothy Leavell, Chairman of the NNPA and publisher of the Crusader Newspapers, stated, “The death of Senator John McCain reminds us that none of us are immortal, but his life was one of service and love for his country. Giving of one’s service until the end speaks volumes of his integrity and he fulfilled the call from our maker to be of service to others.”

Cloves Campbell III, former Chairman of the NNPA and publisher of the Arizona Informant observed, “Senator John McCain will be remembered in the African American community of Arizona as a national statesman who grew and evolved particularly in his later years as an elected official who transcended partisan politics and who eventually did what he thought was the right thing to do rather than to be confined to political party loyalty. That is why he voted pivotally to save the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) at a time when most Republicans were voting to end the ACA.”

“His acts of service in war, where he was held captive, and then at home, was one of dignity, respect and care in the United States Senate far surpassing many others in similar circumstances,” concluded Leavell. “Above all, he put partisanship aside to make decisions that were in the best interest of all of the citizens of the United States and usually without much fanfare. We shall remember him and miss his brand of high character in the Senate. We add our condolences to his family and our country as a whole. Rest in peace (RIP) dear Senator.”

On Monday morning in Arizona, Senator John McCain’s former campaign manager Rick Davis, acting as a spokesperson for the McCain family, read aloud the text of the late senator’s final letter to the public. “These are John’s words,” he said. What follows is a transcription of what Davis read:

My fellow Americans, whom I have gratefully served for 60 years, and especially my fellow Arizonians, thank you for the privilege of serving you, and for the rewarding life that service in uniform and in public office has allowed me to lead.

I’ve tried to serve our country honorably. I’ve made mistakes, but I hope my love for America will be weighed favorably against them. I’ve 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’ve loved my life, all of it. I’ve had experiences, adventures, friendships, enough for 10 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 anybody else’s.

I owe this satisfaction to the love of my family. One man has never 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, and respect for the dignity of all people brings happiness more sublime than life’s fleeting pleasures. Our identities and sense of worth were not circumscribed, but are enlarged by serving good causes bigger than ourselves.

Fellow Americans, 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. We are blessed and are a blessing to humanity when we uphold and advance those ideals at home and in the world. We have helped liberate more people from tyranny and poverty than ever before in history, and we have acquired great wealth and power in the progress.

We weaken our greatness when we confuse our patriotism with tribal rivalries that have sown resentment and hatred and violence in all the corners of the globe. We weaken it when we hide behind walls, rather than tear them down; when we doubt the power of our ideals, rather than trust them to be the great force for change they have always been.

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. 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.

Ten years ago I had the privilege to concede defeat in the election for president. I want to end my farewell to you with heartfelt faith in Americans that I felt so powerfully that evening. I feel it powerfully still.

Do not despair of our present difficulties. We believe always in the promise and greatness of America because nothing is inevitable here. Americans never quit, we never surrender, we never hide from history. We make history. Farewell fellow Americans, God bless you, and God bless America.

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