John McCain’s final letter to America was read aloud by former campaign manager Rick Davis at 10:30 AM on August 27, a day after McCain’s passing.
You can watch the video below:
The speech reads in full:
“My fellow Americans, whom I have gratefully served for sixty years, and especially my fellow Arizonians: thank you for the privilege of serving you and for the rewarding life that service in uniform and that public office has allowed me to lead. I’ve tried to serve our country honorably. I’ve made mistakes. But I hope my love for America will be weighed favorably against them. I’ve often heard that I am the luckiest person on earth. I feel that way even now, as I prepare for the end of my life. I’ve loved my life, all of it. I’ve had experiences, adventures, friendships, enough for ten satisfying lives, and I am so thankful. Like most people, I have regrets. But I would not trade a day of my life, any good or bad times, for the best day of anybody else’s. I owe the satisfaction to the love of my family. One man has never had a more loving wife or children he was prouder of than I am of mine. And I owe it to America. To be connected to America’s causes: liberty, equal justice, respect for the dignity of all people, brings happiness more sublime than life’s fleeting pleasures. Our identities and sense of worth are not circumscribed, but are enlarged by serving good causes bigger than ourselves.Fellow Americans: that association has meant more to me than any other. I lived and died a proud American. We are citizens of the world’s greatest republic, a nation of ideals, not blood and soil. We are blessed and are a blessing to humanity when we uphold and advance those ideals, at home and i the world. We have helped liberate more people from tyranny and from poverty than ever before in history, and we have acquired great wealth and power in the progress. We weaken our greatness when we confuse our patriotism with tribal rivalries that have sewn resentment and hatred and violence in all the corners of the globe. We weaken it when we hide behind walls rather than tear them down, when we doubt the power of our ideals rather than trust them to be the great force for change that they have always been. We are 325 million opinionated vociferous individuals. We argue and compete and sometimes vilify each other in our raucous public debates. But we have always had so much more in common with each other than in disagreement. If only we remember that and give each other the benefit of presumption that we all love our country, we will get through these challenging times. We will come through them stronger than before. We always do. Ten years ago, I had the privilege to concede defeat in the election for president. I want to end my farewell to you with heartfelt faith in Americans that I felt so powerfully that evening. I feel it powerfully still. Do not despair of our present difficulties. We believe always in the promise and greatness of America. Because nothing is inevitable here. Americans never quit, we never surrender, we never hide from history. We make history. Farewell fellow Americans. God bless you, and God bless America.”
McCain’s daughter, Meghan McCain, also shared the letter to Twitter, writing, “Please read my father’s farewell letter to the country he loved so much.”
McCain’s letter has already drawn speculation about its relation and meaning towards the Trump administration. Emma Loop, the Capitol Hill reporter for BuzzFeed, tweeted that McCain seemed to “subtly rebuke” Trump in his letter, while another Twitter user wrote, “Through his farewell letter, Sen. John McCain wanted us to know that the Trumpism will be our downfall, and we must acknowledge & take responsibility for the animosity Trump have created, and act to change for the sake of our children!”