Whether you voted for him or not, whether or not you agreed with him, you cannot deny he was a patriot – in the strongest sense of the word. Mr. McCain believed in this country and in democracy. Even with his foibles, faults and characteristics, he was honest. His travails during the war in Vietnam made him more determined to work for his country; he said it was during this time that he “fell in love” with his country. Because of those years in Vietnam, he continually suffered physically, but was not defeated by these limitations; he just seemed that much more determined to serve. His willingness to listen, may have often led to disagreements, but always discussions. During his service in the Congress, he looked at the facts, assessed them, encouraged participation from all sides. It was said he defied ideology; Jon Meacham called him an “umpire.” Mr. McCain was a man of intelligence, integrity and values, trusting his strong common sense. These qualities were seasoned with his sense of humanity and humor. When he made mistakes, he admitted them, adhering to his own principles. While he could also be described as a curmudgeon, crusty and a maverick in his dealings, one witnessed grace and a steadfast decency, even during tedious campaigns. When someone in the Press became an irritant to him and sometimes ignored, he soon relented. That person became a witness to his forgiving nature. After all, he knew how important an informed media is to democracy. Please, let us honor this man’s legacy and all for which he stood. His patriotic demeanor should be treasured, respected and never forgotten. It is a legacy we so greatly need during this time; let us not diminish that and endeavor to salvage honor. Thank you, John Sidney McCain III for your service.