Obama, George Bush Mourn John McCain

US Senator John Mc Cain McCain died at the age of 81 after battling brain cancer for more than a year. Source REUTERS  Brian SnyderMore

Many American political leaders paid rich tributes to Republican Senator and former presidential candidate John McCain, who passed away on Saturday after a prolonged illness.

U.S. Senator John McCain is being remembered for his courage, patriotism and service to his country.

"Senator John McCain believed that every citizen has a responsibility to make something of the freedoms given by our Constitution, and from his heroic service in the Navy to his 35 years in Congress, he lived by his creed every day", said former president Bill Clinton. Some voices are so vibrant, it is hard to think of them still.

Barack Obama said in a statement, "John McCain and I were members of different generatoins, came from completely different backgrounds, and competed at the highest level of politics. While I did not always agree with his positions, he was a public servant who indisputably aimed to put country over party".

US President Donald Trump, who once mocked McCain's war record, said he sent his "deepest sympathies and respect".

Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., and Rep. Kevin Cramer also expressed their condolences to the McCain family in separate statements. "John McCain's sacrifice and the sacrifices made by all our POWs and MIAs must never be forgotten".

They also stood side by side in Lithuania in 2016, when McCain called for sanctions against Russian Federation for its alleged attempt to influence the United States presidential election.

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"As a POW, John endured the worst of what human beings can do to one another". German Chancellor Angela Merkel called him "one of the great political figures of our time". At the end of his life he faced a cruel and relentless disease.

"And the spirit that drove him was never extinguished: we are here to commit ourselves to something bigger than ourselves".

Some drove their cars and parked along Interstate 17 on Saturday night as a hearse traveled from McCain's home near Sedona down to Phoenix.

In May, after a White House aide mocked John McCain, who had cancer, by reportedly saying, "It doesn't matter, he's dying anyways", Meghan McCain snapped back.

While many disagreed profoundly with McCain on certain issues, he was a man who lived for his country and gave to it like only a few have in their lifetime.

During his years in the Senate, McCain unwaveringly defended Israel and opposed any measures that might endanger the security of the Jewish state. Our nation is forever indebted to men and women of conscience who struggle-in their own way, according to the dictates of their own hearts-to act on the ideals of democracy and work to build a more flawless union.

He left Washington in December past year to spend more time with his family.

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