Lee University faculty and students remember Senator John McCain
In the aftermath of Senator John McCain's death after several months of battling brain cancer, remembrances and thoughts poured out from every part of the nation, including Lee University faculty and students.
McCain was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor called glioblastoma in July 2017. The senator had been receiving treatment since the discovery of the aggressive form of brain cancer. However, on Aug. 24, his family announced that they would discontinue his treatment. He died the next day.
McCain left behind both a political and military legacy. The former Navy officer received the Purple Heart Medal, the Republic of Vietnam Nation Order, the Prisoner of War Medal and several other military awards for his time as a prisoner of war after being captured and tortured for five years in Vietnam.
Associate Professor of English Christopher Coulter said he believes McCain will be remembered as someone who was a symbol of compelling endurance.
"His subsequent political career was mainly known for his defending U.S. military readiness," Coulter said. "I think he will be remembered as a patriot by the Lee community."
Assistant Professor of Political Science Thomas Pope further explained the way John McCain's character can be remembered by Lee students.
"John McCain was a model of engaged citizenship," Pope said. "He saw politics as a practice of deliberating about our highest ideals, hoping to manifest them in law."
Pope continued by sharing how students can learn from McCain in how to properly be a part of a disagreeing society.
"He understood that thoughtful disagreement does not preclude friendship," Pope said. "Without such exemplars in politics, students run the risk of becoming increasingly jaded about entering into the public realm—retreating ever more into the private and the individual, with smaller, safer hopes and simpler, pettier dreams."
Sophomore Madison Hummel said she agrees with the impact McCain had on the nation and also hopes for others to sympathize with the tragedy of his death and how it relates to veterans.
"Several members of my family are in the military, so McCain is someone that I respect due to his time serving our country," Hummel said. "I do think that the tragedy of the death of a man that wanted the best for America is what our university can take from this."
McCain was someone that impacted students and faculty in many different areas, as Assistant Professor of Political Science Mark Scully said.
"Lee students may choose to remember him for his decency, honesty and honor," Scully said. "They may choose to remember a politician whose dedication to principle allowed him to reach across the aisle and to call his own party to account."
After a five-day funeral procession, McCain's body was laid to rest in the U.S. Naval Academy next to his Navy classmate and close friend Chuck Larson on Sunday, Sept. 2.