Wednesday, April 02, 2008

What we need

MaryKatharine Ham has the text of John McCain's speech yesterday in Meridian Mississippi where he describes his family legacy. Read the whole thing. It is moving and it allows us more understanding of McCain's deep love for this country.

He ends with this:

I am the son and grandson of admirals. My grandfather was an aviator; my father a submariner. They were my first heroes, and their respect for me has been one of the most lasting ambitions of my life. They gave their lives to their country, and taught me lessons about honor, courage, duty, perseverance and leadership that I didn’t fully grasp until later in life, but remembered when I needed them most. I have been an imperfect servant of my country for many years. But I am their son, and they showed me how to love my country, and that has made all the difference for me, my friends, all the difference in the world.

It is in our darkest moments that we reveal to ourselves who we really are. Where do we turn? How do we handle the pain? When did McCain need to remember the lessons of honor, courage, duty and perseverance and leadership that his parents had taught him? It was in his darkest hours, being tortured and beaten by an enemy in ways you and I can only imagine in our nightmares. He remembered and he overcame. He sacrificed when he didn't have to. He displayed all the qualities of bravery and leadership that is so lacking in most politicians today.

He admits he is imperfect, as we all are. He doesn't pretend that pretty words or empty speeches will lead this country to where we need it to be. McCain understands this place we find ourselves. We may not always agree with him, but we respect him. And we know, without a doubt, that he deeply loves this country.

He is what we need.