McCain died Friday, Aug. 25, at the age of 81 after a battle with a rare form of brain cancer. Early last week, the family announced that the ailing senator, famously known for surviving five-and-a-half years as a POW in the Vietnam War, would end radiation treatments almost a year after his diagnosis in 2017.
On Sunday, his daughter honored his memory with a lengthy statement on her father’s passing, which she shared with fans on social media.
“I was with my father at his end as he was with me at my beginning,” McCain wrote. “In the thirty-three years we shared together, he raised me, he taught me, he corrected me, comforted me, encouraged me and supported me in all things. He loved me, and I loved him.”
“My father is gone, and I miss him as only an adoring daughter can,” she continued. “But in this loss, and in this sorrow, I take comfort in this: John McCain, hero to the republic and this little girl, wakes today to something more glorious than anything on this earth … The dream is ended; this is the morning.”
Fans didn’t hesitate to offer their sympathies to the daytime talk show host, who routinely mentioned and lauded her father on “The View.”
“God bless you, Meghan, and your family,” one person wrote. “I saw how close you are to your family and I have always admired that closeness. Please know that I will be praying for you and your family 💕”
“So many tears today for you @meghanmccain and @cindymccain but so much gratitude for having your father in our world for so long,” wrote another. “Your tribute to your father is beautiful and your bond with him was palpable. I hope you always feel his love and spirit around you, every day, forever.”
A fan from Canada boldly declared that “admirers worldwide mourn the loss of a great man of high morals and a life of service that included such extreme sacrifice as a POW.”
Sen. McCain seemed to have thousands of admirers, however, some Black U.S. leaders have mixed reviews about the legacy the lawmaker left behind.
McCain, who ran twice for U.S. president, had several high points in his career, including the time he defended then-opponent Barack Obama against a voter who doubted Obama’s birthplace and claimed he was an “Arab.” He’s also remembered as a vocal critic of President Donald Trump, whom he openly defied when he gave a thumbs-down vote on the GOP bill to permanently repeal Obamacare.
“John McCain and I were members of different generations, came from completely different backgrounds and competed at the highest level of politics,” Obama wrote in a statement. “But we shared, for all our differences, a fidelity to something higher — the ideals to which Americans and immigrant alike have fought for … At John’s best, he showed us what that means. And for that, we’re all in his debt.”
However, some critics have accused McCain of being indifferent to his African-American constituents in Arizona.
“[McCain] has pretty well zero relationship with the African-American community that I know of,” Oscar Tillman, head of the Phoenix branch of the NAACP, told Politico. “I don’t recall him ever attending any function with the NAACP. Each year we send them an invitation [to an annual banquet], and each year they say no.”
The former lawmaker was also opposed to the Martin Luther King Jr. national holiday, and even voted against it after President Ronald Reagan approved a bill for MLK Day. McCain later apologized for his opposition to honoring civil rights icons, as well as for his support in keeping the Confederate flag atop the South Carolina state capitol.