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John McCain’s Farewell August 27, 2018

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, People.

“My fellow Americans, whom I have gratefully served for sixty years, and especially my fellow Arizonans,

“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 have tried to serve our country honorably. I have made mistakes, but I hope my love for America will be weighed favorably against them.

“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.

“‘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. We have acquired great wealth and power in the process.

“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 three-hundred-and-twenty-five 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 the heartfelt faith in Americans that I felt so powerfully that evening.

I feel it powerfully still.

“Do not despair of our present difficulties but 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.”

Aah . . . that’s better!


1. Debra - August 27, 2018

I heard this quoted today, but it’s even more powerful in the reading. I’m glad to have a copy! The “Do not despair” paragraph moves me to tears. We would do well to meditate upon not just these words, but the example of self-less citizenship this man has left for us. Thank you, Nancy. I’m very moved.

nrhatch - August 27, 2018

That’s the way I felt, Debra. A very moving farewell.

2. Jill Weatherholt - August 28, 2018

“Americans never quit.” Yes! Thanks for sharing, Nancy!

nrhatch - August 28, 2018

A politician who ran for office for all the RIGHT reasons.

3. rivergirl1211 - August 28, 2018

“I lived and died a proud American.” He did…. and we will be the poorer for the loss.

nrhatch - August 28, 2018

We could use a few more politicians like him!

rivergirl1211 - August 28, 2018

A dying breed I’m afraid. Honor and service to a higher cause is just about dead in Washington these days. The divisiveness and vitriol is appalling…. and quite frightening.

nrhatch - August 29, 2018

We just watched RBG ~ about Ruth Bader Ginsberg. We’ve come a long way since the 70’s when she first argued for women’s rights before the Supreme Court . . . but she is ONLY ONE woman on a NINE member court.

Somehow that just seems WRONG! No wonder she doesn’t want to retire.

4. Tippy Gnu - August 28, 2018

I found this very moving. It isn’t often we hear inspiring words from an American politician these days. Too bad it’s when they’re leaving. Such as when they’re not seeking re-election, as in Senator Flake’s case, or when they’re dying, as with McCain.

nrhatch - August 28, 2018

Yes . . . the days of the Gettysburg Address (and other inspiring speeches) are few and far between.

5. Tippy Gnu - August 29, 2018

Reblogged this on Chasing Unicorns and commented:
I’m in a maverick mood today, so I’m going to post two unicorns. Or maybe one-and-a-half, given the quality of the other one. But they both come from nrhatch. This unicorn is something she posted yesterday on her blog. It’s John McCain’s farewell address. I found his words very inspiring, and that’s unique from politicians these days, so his farewell address qualifies as a unicorn. How do you like this, I’m stealing a quote from another blog, and from a dead man. Have I no standards? Nope.

nrhatch - August 29, 2018

Go you! 😀

Tippy Gnu - August 29, 2018

Yeah, and you too.

nrhatch - August 29, 2018

If you enjoy documentaries, you might enjoy the new release about Ruth Bader Ginsberg ~> “RBG.” We watched it last night and found it (and RBG!) inspiring.

If I have half her energy when I’m 84, I’d be able to leap over tall buildings in a single bound. Like Superman!

6. L. Marie - August 29, 2018

Beautifully put.

nrhatch - August 29, 2018

We tuned in to the Capital Rotunda at lunch to watch family and friends giving John a fond farewell.

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