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Here Are Some Of The Powerful Tributes Honoring John McCain

"The Senate, the United States, and the world are lesser places without John McCain."

Last updated on August 25, 2018, at 10:54 p.m. ET

Posted on August 25, 2018, at 9:39 p.m. ET

An American hero. A courageous senator with "unparalleled heart and service." A "truth teller." Sen. John McCain's family, friends, and the politicians and world leaders he worked alongside for years delivered powerful and emotional tributes following the news of his death Saturday.

Astrid Riecken / Getty Images

A Navy aviator who spent five years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, and later rose through the Republican Party as a House representative, senator, and two-time presidential candidate, McCain was remembered for his decades of service, and for an independent streak that defined his storied military and political careers.

Immediately after news of his death broke, politicians who knew McCain, both as an ally and an opponent, paid tribute to his character, courage, and patriotism.

"My heart is broken. I am so lucky to have lived the adventure of loving this incredible man for 38 years," wrote his wife, Cindy McCain. "He passed the way he lived, on his own terms surrounded by the people he loved in the place he loved best."

My heart is broken. I am so lucky to have lived the adventure of loving this incredible man for 38 years. He passed the way he lived, on his own terms, surrounded by the people he loved, in the the place he loved best.

His daughter Meghan released a long and touching tribute to her father, praising his love, guidance, and strength. "He was a great fire who burned bright, and we lived in his light and warmth for so very long," she wrote. "Today the warrior enters his true and eternal life."

I love you forever - my beloved father @SenJohnMcCain

"America and Freedom have lost one of her greatest champions," tweeted Sen. Lindsey Graham, McCain's closest friend in the Senate.

America and Freedom have lost one of her greatest champions. ….And I’ve lost one of my dearest friends and mentor.

Former president Barack Obama — who beat McCain in the 2008 presidential race — wrote that despite their political differences, he and McCain shared "a fidelity to something higher — the ideals for which generations of Americans and immigrants alike have fought, marched, and sacrificed."

Our statement on the passing of Senator John McCain:

"America will miss John McCain. The world will miss John McCain. And I will miss him dearly," said former vice president Joe Biden, who served with McCain in the Senate and was among those who visited the Republican's Arizona ranch following his cancer diagnosis.

John McCain was many things – a proud graduate of the Naval Academy, a Senate colleague, a political opponent. But, to me, more than anything, John was a friend. He will be missed dearly. https://t.co/AS8YsMLw3d

Former president George W. Bush, who competed against McCain in the 2000 Republican presidential primary, called McCain "a man of deep conviction and a patriot of the highest order" and "a friend whom I'll miss dearly."

Former President George W. Bush on Senator #JohnMcCain: "John McCain was a man of deep conviction and a patriot of the highest order. He was a public servant in the finest traditions of our country.” https://t.co/8a4krW7adS https://t.co/lRK4Jsspy5

"Few sacrificed more for, or contributed more to, the welfare of his fellow citizens — and indeed freedom-loving peoples around the world," former president George H.W. Bush wrote in a statement, calling McCain "a patriot of the highest order."

Statement by former President @GeorgeHWBush on the passing of U.S. Senator John McCain of Arizona.

In a brief tweet, President Donald Trump offered his "deepest sympathies and respect" to McCain's family. "Our hearts and prayers are with you!"

My deepest sympathies and respect go out to the family of Senator John McCain. Our hearts and prayers are with you!

Trump's reelection campaign also issued a statement, offering condolences to McCain's family.

"We encourage all Americans to take the opportunity to remember Senator McCain and his family in their prayers on this sad occasion," the statement said.

Vice President Mike Pence also offered his prayers and condolences to the McCain family.

Karen and I send our deepest condolences to Cindy and the entire McCain family on the passing of Senator John McCain. We honor his lifetime of service to this nation in our military and in public life. His family and friends will be in our prayers. God bless John McCain.

"John McCain was my friend," his 2008 running mate Sarah Palin said in a tweet. "I will remember the good times."

John McCain was my friend. I will remember the good times. My family and I send prayers for Cindy and the McCain family. - Sarah Palin and family https://t.co/KRvcIQ99cA

Former US secretary of state Hillary Clinton described him as a "tough politician" and "a trusted colleague."

.@SenJohnMcCain lived a life of service to his country, from his heroism in the Navy to 35 years in Congress. He was a tough politician, a trusted colleague, and there will simply never be another like him. My thoughts and prayers are with Cindy and his entire family.

In his own statement, former president Bill Clinton wrote that McCain "believed that every citizen has a responsibility to make something of the freedoms given by our Constitution" and that "he lived his creed every day."

John McCain believed that every citizen has a responsibility to make something of the freedoms given by our Constitution, and from his heroic service in the Navy to his 35 years in Congress, he lived by his creed every day. https://t.co/946T7PnG53

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who worked with McCain on a bill to reform veterans' health care in 2014, called McCain "a man of decency and honor" who will be missed "not just in the US Senate but by all Americans who respect integrity and independence."

John McCain was an American hero, a man of decency and honor and a friend of mine. He will be missed not just in the U.S. Senate but by all Americans who respect integrity and independence. Jane and I send our deepest condolences to his family.

"In an era filled with cynicism about national unity and public service, John McCain's life shone as a bright example," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a statement.

Today, the nation mourns the loss of a great American patriot. My full statement on the passing of @SenJohnMcCain

"Throughout his career, we all saw his integrity, humility, courage and grace," tweeted House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

.@SenJohnMcCain was a leader & public servant of deep patriotism, outstanding bravery & undaunted spirit. Throughout his career, we all saw his integrity, humility, courage & grace. May it be a comfort to his family to know that so many around the world mourn with them.

"He was a truth teller — never afraid to speak truth to power in an era where that has become all too rare," Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer wrote on Twitter, in a thread honoring McCain's work and character. "The Senate, the United States, and the world are lesser places without John McCain."

As you go through life, you meet few truly great people. John McCain was one of them. His dedication to his country and the military were unsurpassed, and maybe most of all, he was a truth teller - never afraid to speak truth to power in an era where that has become all too rare.

"He recognized that for our experiment in democracy to long endure, people of action and passion must serve," US Defense Secretary James Mattis said in a statement.

SecDef Jim Mattis on the passing of John McCain: “His was a life well lived, one whose actions epitomized the motto of his alma mater, the US Naval Academy: non sibi, sed patriae—“not for self, but for country.” https://t.co/8A0LqzPdYx

In a Twitter thread, Sen. Dianne Feinstein recalled her conversations with McCain about the torture he had endured as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, writing that "his experience led him to believe that such evil acts could never be the American way."

John McCain was a leader, a public servant and a patriot, and he’ll be terribly missed.

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen thanked McCain for his support of Taiwan's democracy.

I'll remember John McCain as a friend & a fighter. He never backed down from his beliefs & forever strived for a more peaceful & prosperous world. On behalf of the people of Taiwan, thank you.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also shared his condolences, tweeting, "Canadians join Americans tonight in celebrating his life and mourning his passing."

Senator John McCain was an American patriot and hero whose sacrifices for his country, and lifetime of public service, were an inspiration to millions. Canadians join Americans tonight in celebrating his life and mourning his passing.

Saudi Arabia also expressed its condolences, calling McCain "a great friend of the Kingdom."

Sincerest condolences to the American people on the loss of John McCain, an American hero who dedicated his life to serving his country and advancing global peace and security. He was a great friend of the Kingdom, a truly respected and trustworthy statesman. We will miss him.

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