Sen. John McCain

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The internet mourns the death of John McCain

Not all of the remembrances were positive.


Ellen Ioanes


Posted on Aug 26, 2018   Updated on May 21, 2021, 7:55 am CDT

Sen. John McCain, 81, died on Saturday after a battle with brain cancer, and the internet is in mourning.

McCain represented Arizona in the Senate for 35 years, after serving as a Naval officer in the Vietnam War. After his plane was shot down, he was captured by the North Vietnamese Army and tortured in the infamous “Hanoi Hilton” for five years.  

McCain was diagnosed with glioblastoma, a particularly aggressive form of brain cancer, in July 2017; his family announced on Friday that they had discontinued medical treatment.

After his death was announced Saturday night, Twitter predictably overflowed with tributes, including this one from Barack Obama:

“Few of us have been tested the way John once was, or required to show the kind of courage that he did. But all of us can aspire to the courage to put the greater good above our own. At John’s best, he showed us what that means,” the former president said in a statement.

Hillary Clinton remembered the senator, too:

As did Joe Biden, whose son Beau also died of brain cancer:

President Donald Trump, who memorably said that he didn’t think McCain was a war hero because he was captured, sent his condolences as well.

Presidents Obama and George W. Bush have been asked to deliver eulogies; McCain previously had requested that Trump not be invited to his funeral.

McCain will lie in state in both Arizona and a the U.S. Capitol before his burial in Annapolis, Maryland, where the U.S. Naval Academy is located. 

Not all of the remembrances were positive, though. Some recalled McCain’s less-than-heroic deeds.

@ReignofApril reminded users that McCain was responsible for Sarah Palin’s political “career.”

User @meakoopa posted several tweets throwing shade at McCain for racist and homophobic policies:

McCain voted against a holiday memorializing Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1983, but he said his position had changed during his 2008 presidential run.

McCain also voted for the Defense of Marriage act in 1996; in 2013, he still supported the law.

McCain leaves behind his wife, Cindy, and his children Meghan, Bridget, Sidney, John IV, and James.

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*First Published: Aug 26, 2018, 11:30 am CDT