Senator John McCain is my VIP for this week. I do not care much for the Senator as a politician, but I am now very impressed with him as a man. While doing an assignment for my writing class this week, I found an essay by the Senator that was heard on the “This I Believe” podcast on March 1, 2016. I found his essay under the “America and Patriotism” theme and was very impressed with what he wrote. I particularly like this portion.
“I believe in honor, faith, and serve – to one’s country and to mankind. It’s a lesson I learned from my family, from the men with whom I served in Vietnam, and from my fellow Americans….
“Years later, I saw an example of honor in the most surprising of places. As a scared American prisoner of war in Vietnam, I was tied in torture ropes by my tormentors and left alone in an empty room to suffer through the night. Later in the evening, a guard I had never spoken to entered the room and silently loosened the ropes to relieve my suffering. Just before morning, that same guard came back and re-tightened the ropes before his less humanitarian comrades returned. He never said a word to me.
“Some months later on a Christmas morning, as I stood alone in the prison courtyard, that same guard walked up to me and stood next to me for a few moments. Then with his sandal, the guard drew a cross in the dirt. We stood wordlessly there for a minute or two, venerating the cross, until the guard rubbed it out and walked away.
“To me, that was faith: a faith that unites and never divides, a faith that bridges unbridgeable gaps in humanity. It is the faith that we are all equal and endowed by our Creator with inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It is the faith I would die to defend.
“My determination to act with honor and integrity impels me to work in service to my country. I have believed that the means to real happiness and the true worth of a person is measured by how faithfully we serve a cause greater than our self-interest….”
As I said previously, I do not agree with much of Senator McCain’s political moves, but I respect him as a man. He suffered as a prisoner of war for long years and yet wants to continue serving our nation. I honor him for staying sane and willing to serve.