John McCain was a class act, and I felt the need to note his passing. I wrote about him recently during the first signs of his illness, and earlier about Carol Shepp, his first wife, in Lansdowne-Aldan’s class of 1955, just one year behind us. He would fly in for the weekend and they would double-date with their friends, the Bookbinders. They would eat at the Bookbinders family restaurant and take in a game at Franklin Field or the Palestra, so he was familiar with many of Philadelphia’s landmarks that I know so well.
They remained on good terms after their divorce following his release by the North Vietnamese. She went on to become Nancy Regan’s private secretary.
Most people are familiar with his experience as a prisoner of war. He was shot down in a bombing raid over Hanoi, badly injured in the crash, captured, and tortured. His father was an admiral, and his grandfather was especially famous as an admiral in the Pacific during WWII (John “Slew” McCain). Because of his family, John McCain was offered special treatment and early release if he cooperated, but he refused the offer to stay and support his fellow POWs.
That is demonstrating honor beyond my comprehension.
Even during his final illness, from diagnosis to death, he remained a class act, an example to us all (and in sharp contrast to the mean-spirited waffling of our President).
Others can argue his politics, but I stand in awe of John McCain as a person.
(John had 7 children, both natural and adopted, by two wives, that you probably never heard of. John was fiercely protective of their privacy. They are all adults, now, but remain close. They were at his bedside when he died.)