John McCain, a war hero and towering figure in American politics, known for reaching across the aisle in an increasingly divided nation, died on Saturday following a battle with brain cancer. He was 81.
The senator’s passing marked the end of a storied, 35-year political career that brought the independent-minded Republican within reach of the White House as his party’s presidential nominee.
“It’s been quite a ride,” McCain, who was tortured during five years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, wrote in a memoir published earlier this year. “I’ve known great passions, seen amazing wonders, fought in a war and helped make peace. I made a small place for myself in the story of America and the history of my times.” McCain, who had been receiving treatment in his home state of Arizona, was surrounded by his wife Cindy and his family during his final hours.
“He was a great fire who burned bright, and we lived in his light and warmth,” said Meghan McCain, one of the late senator’s seven children — three of them from a previous marriage. Near the driveway to his ranch in a rural part of Sedona, Arizona, a sign read “Sen McCain, thank you for your service.”
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has expressed his condolences on the passing of US senator John McCain.
“Thoughts and prayers of the people of Pakistan are with the family and friends of Senator McCain,” the statement from Foreign Office read.
“Senator John McCain had an illustrious military and public service career and was admired across the spectrum of US politics as a man of integrity and a champion of civility,” the statement said.
The statement further added, “As Chairman of the Armed Services Committee, Senator McCain always stood for strong Pakistan-US relations and a cooperative approach for promoting peace and building stability in the region. He will be greatly missed in Pakistan,” the foreign minister said.