Hoosiers reflect on life and legacy of John McCain

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Indiana’s Republican Sen. Todd Young still recalls the picture he had of Sen. John McCain posted on his bulletin board at the U.S. Naval Academy. The picture was a symbolic inspiration and memory, he said, that he will never forget.

“Whether one is a Republican or Democrat, John had a strong sense of right and wrong,” Young said in an interview with FOX59 Monday. “One of the first things he did when I was sworn in was he invited me over to his office and spent about an hour with me.”

Weeks before the 2016 election, when McCain was facing re-election himself, McCain spent a day in Indianapolis meeting with Hoosier veterans and campaigned for Young.

“This is a larger-than-life character who came with a swagger of a fighter pilot to Indianapolis,” Young said. “Visited with veterans, visited with people on my campaign. He made everyone feel incredibly comfortable the second they met him.”

The praise for McCain’s service has been widespread.

“An American hero, an American icon,” Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Indiana) said Friday when McCain’s family announced he was no longer seeking medical treatment. “Every moment with him was like a blessing.”

Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, a former Indiana Senator, praised McCain in a statement released Monday.

I am privileged to have served with John McCain in the House and in the Senate. John and I traveled together extensively both overseas and domestically, and I witnessed the leadership he demonstrated on behalf of the people of Arizona and the United States, especially when representing our military men and women. I enjoyed my work with him on many difficult issues, as well as the passionate debates we had on areas where we disagreed, and I am proud to call John my colleague and more importantly my friend. Marsha and I extend our deepest condolences to Cindy and to his family.

McCain’s lasting impact and legacy on Capitol Hill may still widely be unknown, former Republican state lawmaker Mike Murphy said, who is a panelist on IN Focus.

“He’s going to be more important in death in some ways than he was in life,” Murphy said. “I think our country is going in a direction which concerns me. And I think we need more John McCain’s, not fewer.”