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October 23, 2018
Gamma Mu • Phoenix AZ
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Gamma Mu Boule Tribute to US Senator John McCain

The members of Gamma Mu Boule of Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity join with our fellow Arizonans and our fellow Americans, to celebrate the life and mourn the death, of Senator John Sidney McCain, III.  We do so not because we agreed with all the positions he took and the votes he cast on issues of importance to Black and African-Americans during his almost 36 years representing the State of Arizona in the U.S. House or Representatives and the United States Senate.  We do so because of his extraordinary example of leadership and bipartisanship, and his spirit of fairness and respect for all, including his political adversaries.  We honor him because despite our differences on policy issues, he respected differing opinions and allowed those differences to be heard. Over the years, despite our differences, McCain invited input from Gamma Mu Boule members, and called members his friends.

In his life, John McCain illustrated the principle that Americans can disagree politically without becoming enemies personally.  In fact, he spent many of his years forging relationships in Congress across the aisle of partisan politics that exemplified his vision and belief in a better America.  His collaboration with the late Senator Edward Kennedy and others, his close friendship with Senator Joseph Lieberman, gives us a lesson in leadership.  He achieved significant legislation such as the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (the “McCain-Feingold Act”).  We honor him for his efforts and for his courage, and willingness, especially now, to speak truth to power.     

Even after his passing Senator McCain, a Republican, and his family continue to teach this lesson to all Americans, by inviting former Vice President Joseph Biden, a Democrat, to give the eulogy at his memorial service in Phoenix, and by inviting his political adversaries former President George W. Bush, a Republican, and former President Barack Obama, a Democrat, to deliver eulogies at his memorial service in Washington, DC.        

While some issues important to members of the Boule including civil rights might not have been at the top of Senator McCain’s agenda, he had the ability, rare among politicians, to admit when he had made a mistake.  His vote against the federal King holiday in 1983, and later repudiation and full support for its passage in Arizona, serves as an example of one such time.  During the 2008 presidential campaign Senator McCain famously defended his then adversary Senator Barack Obama at a Republican rally from those who said Senator Obama was a Muslim. Those positions, while may not have been politically expedient, showed us his character and dedication to doing what’s right. 

Senator McCain will be remembered for his heroic sacrifices as a U.S. naval aviator and prisoner-of-war in Vietnam, and for his efforts to normalize relations with a country and people who held him captive for so long.  In many ways, those efforts and the wrongs he sought to right, to do what is right, his civility and putting country first over his personal needs or desires. Senator McCain will be remembered for standing up for what he believed in and for his love and honorable service to our country. He will be remembered as the conscious of America throughout the world throughout which he was received with the highest respect for his principled leadership and belief that all have the inalienable right to freedom and the pursuit of happiness.

We thank Senator John McCain for his service and join the nation in mourning the loss of this outstanding man and extend our heartfelt condolences to his family.

Sigma Pi Phi, Gamma Mu Boule

Phoenix, AZ

WATCH: Biggest threat to democracy isn’t Trump but ‘indifference,’ Obama says

URBANA, Ill. (AP) — Former President Barack Obama issued a scorching critique of his successor Friday, blasting President Donald Trump’s pattern of pressuring the Justice Department, his policies and reminding voters that the economic recovery — one of Trump’s favorite talking points — began on his watch.

Former President Barack Obama spoke from Illinois today. The event was streamed by the University of Illinois. Watch his remarks below.