The Christian Science Monitor

Remembering John McCain: the quintessential patriot

Sen. John McCain addresses the Republican National Convention at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, MN, Sept. 4, 2008. The longtime Arizona senator ran twice for president. Source: Mary Knox Merrill/Staff

Sen. John McCain was a legend in American politics. From his survival as a prisoner who endured torture during the Vietnam War to his four decades in Congress representing Arizona, he stood as a fiercely independent and courageous man, sometimes hot-tempered and famously blunt. The Republican ran twice for president. Even in his final stretch, unwell at his home in Arizona and unable to cast votes on Capitol Hill, Senator McCain still reveled in public life, putting out press releases with sharp opinions and publishing one final memoir in May. Above all else, perhaps, McCain advocated a return to what he saw as core American values – and a sense of common purpose. In his various life chapters, Monitor reporters, past and present, had an opportunity to interact with and observe him up close. They share some of their impressions here.

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As John Sidney McCain III came of age, there was little doubt that he would enter the family business.

His grandfather and father – John Sidney McCain Sr. and John Sidney McCain Jr. – had graduated

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