Senator John McCain spent 22 years in the U.S. Navy before becoming a Republican congressman, then a senator, from Arizona. He did not have, however, a typical military career. McCain was shot down over Hanoi in the Vietnam War and endured five-and-a-half years as a prisoner of war (POW), spending most of the time in solitary and enduring incessant torture. When he returned, he put the dismal period behind him and forged on--an awe-inspiring tale of survival that is almost unfathomable. As an elected official, he preferred to be known for what he accomplished, rather than living on his reputation as the tough POW. "Nowadays, when somebody introduces me like, 'Here is our great war hero,' I don't like it,"...
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“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.”
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Vital Speeches of the Day is a monthly collection of the best speeches in the world. Read McCain's top speeches. Must access on campus or login with your COM account for off campus access.