Senator John McCain was indeed a national treasure, but he was never far removed from real people. He understood more than most that political walls ought not be so tall that they prevent us from perceiving when human dignity is under threat. In response to such occasions he took charge and led by example. Against no small amount of resistance, he worked across the aisle to sponsor multiple bipartisan efforts to reform our immigration system, which would become the battle of a lifetime for him.
I was privileged to know John McCain, and I welcomed him to Esperanza’s campus when he generously took time off from a demanding presidential campaign schedule to encourage our high school students to invest their lives in the service of others. He also addressed Esperanza’s National Hispanic Prayer Breakfast on two occasions focusing the audience on the high value of national service, the urgent need of immigration reform, the importance of education and his desire for a return to civic values and respectful discourse. Never were his remarks partisan.
At times Senator McCain could be cantankerous, but he was always mindful of our shared responsibility to make things better. As such, he was committed to an ideal that represents the best of who we can be as Americans. Though Senator McCain’s time with us has passed, his example remains as a timeless reminder of a life well-lived in service to a high calling.
Rev. Luis Cortes, Jr.