Yesterday, we lost the most resilient, stoic and dedicated hero of our age. Forget for just a minute about your political opinions, your "oppression," your relationship drama or your eight hour work day. Unswerving devotion to duty is an understatement. Senator McCain proved to our great country that a fulfilling life is beyond simple comfort.
On October 26th, 1967, John McCain's dive bomber was shot down, causing him to fracture his right leg and both arms. He recalls feeling little to no pain at the moment. Adrenaline can do amazing things. Soon after, he was shamed, beaten and interrogated. After being told he would not receive treatment until he talks, he refused to provide any information beyond his name, rank, serial number and date of birth.
After continuing to protect information and take constant beatings, spending two years in solitary confinement and living in hellish conditions for five and a half years, McCain was released from Hanoi Hilton. While most would choose to retire following their return from prisoner of war status, McCain chose to continue his naval career and returned to flight status within the year.
McCain would relentlessly continue to serve our country for his entire life. Serving in the House of Representatives and later the Senate, he saw beyond political corruption and continued to make decisions for our best interest rather than his party or his career. Even following diagnosis of brain cancer, McCain continued to keep his party in check amidst a controversial political climate.
We all should learn from this great man. The overarching theme of every step of McCain's meritorious career was his placement of service beyond pleasure. There are ample opportunities for all of us to improve the lives of those around us. There is more to life than what happens to you.
Not all of us are war heroes, but we can all take steps to serve a cause beyond ourselves. We should be honored to live in a country that is would not be the great country that it is without selfless figures like John McCain fighting for our freedom. Try and let today's events inspire you to be a little more selfless than you were yesterday.