It is the case that funerals can be moments of reflection that speak to the future. The voice from the grave is often clear and honest. The voices around the service are about wisdom. John McCain’s funeral offers all Americans an opportunity to look inward. In many ways, he embodied the view of patriotism, honor and nobility that can lift a nation’s flag from its half-staff to a shining wave of compassion and core principles based on liberty and justice for all Americans. Today, I think about the man, not of my party, but of my respect for showing the true patriot’s backbone. Like my father, his war tenure was about preserving peace. We should listen to his voice as he is laid to rest with his fellow soldiers. And, while I may disagree with some of his political stands, I don’t question his character. His America is one of honor, truth and service. In that we agree.
McCain was right when he said, “No one of us, if they have character, leaves behind a wasted life. We sacrifice for something greater than ourselves.” At his funeral, Henry Kissinger said, “That is a moral duty. Even in his parting he has restored a sense of unity and a renewed space for a new America.” Hopefully his departure will give pause for all of us to imagine a better and more perfect union because we are better than this today.
In the same week, we say goodbye to two spirited individuals with forceful messages. From the Queen of Soul given back to Mother Earth, we now hear the most important and wisest hymn of eternal peace in song.