Sen. John McCain’s wife, Cindy McCain, accepted an award on his behalf due to his battle with brain cancer currently, but in the speech McCain reflected on many things, but mostly about his own life, so much so it sounded as though he was giving his finals words, reports Time.
McCain was accepting the Ewald Von Kleist award in Munich, Germany and is given to a person who has fought for service to international peace and conflict resolution. It is named for a German who volunteered to wear a suicide vest in an attack on Adolf Hitler, and who founded the conference in Munich.
In McCain’s letter, he mostly called for unity while also subtly criticising President Trump, insinuating that Trump is the reason for the disunity.
At the beginning of the letter, McCain starts it off with a nostalgic tone pointing out all of the great times he’s had at the Munich conference in years past. He mentions about the fun times he had with Joe Biden and Bill Cohen as they expanded NATO and “took it to war in the Balkans.”
“‘We come to Munich because we want to live in a world where truth transcends falsehood, sovereignty triumphs over subjugation, justice reigns over oppression, freedom overcomes tyranny, where power is transformed into legitimacy, and the fate of people and nations is determined by the rule of law, not the whim of rulers,’ McCain’s letter read.”
After McCain talks about his ideologies of overcoming oppression, he moves on to say that they as leaders of government have a “moral struggle” that needs to overcome.
“‘Put simply, we come to Munich because sustaining our vision of world order, though it requires wealth and power and realism, is not merely a material struggle. It is a moral struggle. It is about the values that will govern our world. That is why we are allies. That is why we have stood by each other, and sacrificed for each other, and invested in our common defense—and why we must continue to do so,’ says McCain.”
The 81-year-old senator then begins to speak on that because of how old he is, it has allowed him to look on life with some perspective and allows him to look at his experiences in the past on the present situations with a kind of wisdom others may not have.
He goes on to talk about a topic more personal to him which is war, more specifically the Cold War, which he said his children never had to live through but people’s his generation did. He says he remembers “the enormous sacrifice it entailed, the many brave souls, some of them my friends, who have their lives to secure it.”
Then McCain’s speech veers into more of the political and hints at conflicts happening today, with mentions of a “wall” but doesn’t specifically say the border wall that President Trump has continued to advocate for.
“‘I remember a span of more than half a century when, for all our differences, Americans maintained a bipartisan commitment to the freedom and security of our allies. And together with our allies we kept faith with those on the other side of the walls that divided the oppressed from the free. We were confident they wanted the same things we did—freedom, equal justice, the rule of law, a fair chance to prosper by their own industry and talents. We kept the faith, and we prevailed,’ McCain said.”
He finishes off his speech by saying that he hopes his friends and those attending the conference will carry on the duty of caring about their allies and to free the oppressed.
“I am counting on you to be useful. I am counting on you to keep the faith, and never give up—though the true radiance of our world may at times seem obscured, though we will suffer adversity and setbacks and misfortune—never, ever stop fighting for all that is good, and just, and decent about our world, and each other,” finished McCain.
All in all, it was a beautiful speech, even though his subtle jabs at Trump, however, it did give an overall ominous tone of how the senator is looking at life now. Perhaps he realizes how limited his time may be and is hoping to make a powerful statement while he still can with this speech.