Doug McCain, son of late U.S. Senator John McCain, will speak about his father’s legacy Saturday while accepting the Truman Public Service award on his behalf.
The award is given to those recognized by the city has having the qualities of “dedication, industry, ability, honesty and integrity.” McCain said his father was one recognized by people of all political affiliations as one who exemplified the ideals of public service.
“Most of the people – regardless of which side of the political aisle they’re on, whether they agree with Dad or not – they respect him,” he said.
McCain said he was not particularly surprised when he received the call about the award for public service being given to his father posthumously, saying his father had always lived with a passion for public service to his country.
To his father, McCain said public service meant “country first,” first and foremost.
“Regardless of your political ideology or your political goals, what you’re working for is what’s best for the country and a cause greater than your own good,” McCain said. “That was my dad’s credo his entire life.”
A Navy pilot and prisoner of war for five and a half years during the Vietnam War, John McCain spent 30 years in the Senate and was the Republican presidential nominee in 2008. He died last year, following a fight with brain cancer.
During the ceremony today, McCain said he’ll speak of his father’s ideals that America has “a moral obligation to use her resources to do what is right in the world,” as a country that holds a “unique position” in the world.
“Everybody is very familiar with his public career in the senate,” he said. “Two presidential campaigns, 30 years in the Senate, voting down the repeal of Obamacare and his most recent speeches, but what people don’t realize ... he traveled the globe constantly. His whole goal is trying to foster democracy around the world because he believes America holds a unique place in the world. And the more democracies there are, the more prosperity there is, the more security there is for the world at large.”
McCain said he believes President Truman and his father shared the ideal of America having this responsibility.
“When history has asked us to step up and do what we need to do we’ve done it,” he said. “And his (John McCain’s) wish would be that we continue to do it.”
McCain also said he would like to see this mindset of public service and responsibility help bridge the aisle in our current congress.
“There’s a lot of emotions on both sides of the political aisle, but at the end of the day we’ve got things in this country we need to take care of,” he said. “People need to reach across the aisle and figure out a way to talk about it without yelling at each other.”
The ceremony is set for 10 a.m. June 1 at the Truman Memorial Building, 416 W. Maple Ave., just west of the Square and just east of the Truman Home. The event is free and open to the public.