Sunday, March 9, 2008

IN HIS OWN WORDS


As I have read his book "Faith of My Fathers," I have become more impressed with McCain, the man. I could write in this post about my admiration for him, however, I felt it would be quite instructive for others to read his words. Therefore, the following are excerpts from his book:

"Our senior officers always stressed to us the three essential keys to resistance, which we were to keep uppermost in our mind, especially in moments when we were isolated or otherwise deprived of their guidance and the counsel of other prisoners. They were faith in God, faith in country, and faith in your fellow prisoners.

Were your faith in any of these three devotions seriously shaken, you became much more vulnerable to various pressures employed by the Vietnamese to break you.

Ironically for someone who had so long asserted his own individuality as his first and best defense against insults of any kind, I discovered that faith in myself proved to be the least formidable strength I possessed when confronting alone organized inhumanity on a greater scale than I had conceived possible. Faith in myself was important, and remains important to my self-esteem. But I discovered in prison that faith in myself alone, separate from other, more important allegiances, was ultimately no match for the cruelty that human beings could devise when they were entirely unencumbered by respect for the God-given dignity of man. This is the lesson I learned in prison. It is perhaps, the most important lesson I have ever learned.

During the worst moments of captivity, keeping our faith in God, country, and one another was as difficult as it was imperative. When your faith weakened, you had to take any opportunity, sieze on any sight of it, and use any temporary relief from your distress to recover it.

To guard against such despair, in our most dire moments, POWs would make supreme efforts to grasp our faith tightly, to profess it alone, in the dark, and hasten its revival. Once I was thrown into another cell after a long and difficult interrogation. I discovered scratched into one of the cell's walls the creed "I believe in God, the Father Almighty." There, standing witness to God's presence in a remote, concealed place, recalled to my faith by a stronger, better man, I felt God's love and care more vividly than I would have felt it had I been safe among a pious congregation in the most magnificent cathedral.

In prison, I fell in love with my country. I had loved her before then, but like most young people, my affection was little more than a simple appreciation for the comforts and privileges most Americans enjoyed and took for granted. It wasn't until I had lost America for a time that I realized how much I loved her.

But though I longed for the things at home I cherished most, I still shared the ideals of America. And since those ideals were all that I possessed of my country, they became all the more important to me.

I thought glory was the object of war, all glory was self-glory. No more. For I have learned the truth: there are greater pursuits than self-seeking. Glory is not a conceit. It is not a decoration for valor. It is not a prize for being the most clever, the strongest, or the boldest. Glory belongs to the act of being constant to something greater than yourself, to a cause, to your principles, to the people on whom you rely, and who rely on you in return. No misfortune, no injury, no humiliation can destroy it.

This is the faith that my commanders affirmed, that my brothers-in-arms encouraged my allegiance to. It was the faith I had unknowingly embraced at the Naval Academy. It was my father's and grandfather's faith. A filthy, crippled, broken man, all I had left of my dignity was the faith of my fathers. It was enough."


Do yourself a favor and read this book. You will know McCain as you never have before. You will also realize just how much this man dwarfs the others in the race. He is the epitome of a leader, tried and true. I hope America sees it as well.

10 comments:

Average American said...

L&O Teacher:
I sit here typing this comment, brushing away the last few tears brought on by reading those few words from a book I must now read. I met John McCain back in late 1999 or early 2000 and I can tell you first hand, you have never met a more patriotic man. This country has never had a finer President than he will be, and we have had a few great ones!
I don't agree with all his politics, but I tend to think that just maybe it is I that is on the wrong side of issues that don't coincide with his.

Joe from New Hampshire

Law and Order Teacher said...

Thank you for your visit. I, too, am stunned that I disagreed with him on so many issues. He would be the first to tell us that he would be fine with us disagreeing with him. But, damn, I guess some of us are not on the same level as others. You are a great American.

The Vegas Art Guy said...

http://www.foreignaffairs.org/20071101faessay86602/john-mccain/an-enduring-peace-built-on-freedom.html

More fuel for your fire. It's McCain's foreign policy essay. I used his, Billary's, Rudy's, Obama's, Mitt's and Mr. Two America's. Essays for an assignment last year that worked out very well.

Donald Douglas said...

Thanks for the great passage, Law and Order Teacher.

I'm reading "Faith of My Fathers" right now. I'm still getting into it, but reading your post here makes me excited to continue. I'm already appreciating his family's military service, and the history's often riveting.

McCain's endurance during his captivity is a story that needs to be recalled. He truly is a leader, something I've known all along.

Law and Order Teacher said...

Vegas, Thanks for the information. I will retrieve it directly. We are in the middle of state testing. I have time while I monitor them all this week.

Dr.D,
Thanks for the reply. I felt my own opinion would pale in comparison to McCain's own words. He doesn't need anyone to speak for him. Whatever anyone's policy disagreements with him, he is without a doubt the most important hero in America today.

Tapline said...

L&O teach, Outstanding post, I'm trying to form a constructive response to your post, but I am finding it rather hard to put into word what i feel about this whole Election cycle. I will probably vote for mcCain the same as you, but not for the same reasons. I will vote for him because I feel he will try to put a constitutionalist on the Supreme Court. I do not trust him on his protecting the borders and After reading about the amount of Oil that we cannot purchase nor refine because of laws passed by this congress and not publicised, it stinks to high heaven. I recently read a post about shale in Canada which we cannot buy because it is considered alternative sources. It cost about $15.00 per barrel to process and Alberta has billions of barrels waiting to be bought and processed. We also have large amounts. According to the post China has agreed to purchase Canada's supply. He alone stopped the drilling in Alaska. It was his vote that stopped it....We cannot drill in the gulf although China has a contract with Cuba to do just that and the beat goes on...I ramble...stay well....

The Griper said...

will have to admit that i have to chuckle every time i see his record and compare it to a man who used military service as the foundation of his attempt for office, john kerry who by his own words dishonored himself, his uniform, and his country.

Law and Order Teacher said...

You are right. Kerry was a joke that backfired on the Dems. Why would a guy who allegedly fought honorably come home and trash his brothers. Then he ran for president and tried to reclaim his brothers in arms. What a piece of ****.

rightwingprof said...

I needed something to read on the plane and I was going to read it anyway, so I picked up a copy today.

Blogger said...

Did you think about picking the #1 Bitcoin exchange company: YoBit.