I would be remiss if I also did not pay tribute to Sen. John McCain for his many years of public service, his unfailing duty while battling brain cancer, and his wartime survival victory over his Vietnamese captors.    

 John McCain was known as a skilled politician, a hard-hitter and straight-talker. He would tell you he was not perfect, but said he was guided by conscience and experience and, surely, his maverick nature. Some would praise him for not marching in step with his party, although they were usually Democrats.  In general, the senator earned a reputation as a “maverick” who once refused to heed his campaign advisors and drafted Sarah Palin as his running mate in the 2008 presidential race, which he lost. 

 Following his passing last week, one politician after another eulogized the senator for all of the above, including his stern-faced challenges to the president and votes that were out of sync with the GOP.  He was praised for his lengthy public service and longevity in the Senate, even by those who advocate for term limits. 

(When do death and politics not make strange bedfellows?) 

 Above it all, Americans should appreciate those who devote their lives to public service on many levels and say so. The late senator was neither saint nor sinner, but deserves to be honored, regardless of politics, for his willingness to face any challenge standing up.  

R.I.P. Senator John McCain.