US Senator John McCain Dies at 81

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(— August 26, 2018) — Republican senator and war hero John McCain passed away at the age of 81, according to a statement from his cabinet on Saturday.

McCain, one of the most influential US senators, suffered from a brain tumor, which he was diagnosed with in July 2017. On Friday, according to his family, he decided to stop taking the prescribed  therapy.

He passed away on Saturday afternoon. By his side were his wife and other family members. “Until death, he faithfully served by the United States for 60 years,” it said in a statement from his cabinet.

The funeral service, attended by US Vice President Mike Pens on behalf of the administration, was held at the National Cathedral in Washington and McCain is buried in Annapolis, Maryland, his family said. President Trump was not invited to the funeral service but in honor of Senator McCain, the flags in front of the White House were lowered to half a spear.

He was known in the Senate as a conservative, but he worked with the Democrats on issues related to the reform of the immigration system, climate change, campaign financing. McCain also adamantly lobbied against Russia and China. He openly confronted Donald Trump urging republican colleagues to suppress the US president which many fellow Republicans considered treason.

In his 36 years of service in Congress, McCain had acquired a reputation as a maverick Republican who was not shy about throwing American troops in wars worldwide. Over the years, McCain advocated for military intervention in a number of countries including Bosnia, Kosovo, Georgia, North Korea, Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Syria, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, and Mali which brought him the label of a warmonger. Air raids in Serbia in 1999 brought out the worst in McCain when he stated that schools and civil hospitals are legitimate targets.

While half of Americans praise McCain as a hero, the other half remembers his role in arming radical Islamists and in creating the ISIS.

None the less, Senator McCain was a strong influencer that marked an era of NATO supremacy in the world. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the senator will be remembered “in Europe and North America” ​​for his courage and character and as a strong NATO supporter.

World leaders also praised McCain as a valuable ally. In Germany, whose government confronted Tramp with a number of issues, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said that McCain advocated for America “a reliable and close partner who takes strong responsibility for others and adheres to his principles even in difficult moments “.

The European Union Ambassador to the United States David O’Sullivan said McCain’s strong support for transatlantic co-operation should be followed as an example of “strengthening EU-US relations and addressing future challenges.”

French President Emanuel Macron called McCain a “true American hero whose voice will be missed”.