tv U.S. Senate Sen. Nelson Tribute to Sen. Mc Cain CSPAN August 28, 2018 1:11pm-1:20pm EDT
politics. and that's why i believe we should put together a bipartisan group that can bring together the best ideas on how we can memorialize his service to his country and his legacy here in the senate . we should do this carefully and consider all options about what the best form that tribute should take . doing this in a collaborative and deliberate way i hope is how senator mccain would have wanted it. i can't tell you how many times he always advocated for regular order. he didn't want ideas cooked up in some back room yand sprung on the nation in the senate, he wanted the committees to do their work because he knew by doing that , by thinking about them, by testing ideas, by committee process, that we improve the chances of abetter product .
despite our heavy loss, we can't lose sight of our other work either. senator mccain i think would want us to keep pushing the ball forward andachieving more on the behalf of the american people . >> mister president, when you walk by senator mccain's desk , and you see the black drape and the bowl of white roses, it really underscores the loss. we lost a colleague. we losta friend . the country lost a truepublic servant . after the stories that you heard of him being shot down, spending all those years in the hanoi hilton, beaten
nearly to death when he was fish out of the lake in downtown hanoi, he continued to serve his country in the navy, in congress, in the senate and of course as the party's nominee for president . his call to serve, his sense of duty and honor is the legacy of john mccain. he's an example for all of us . he was a fighter and he was funny, to. maybe it was the years in prison or the long time of military service or the sometimes tense humor of the fighter pilots. maybe it was that legacy of his family and the military, but he knew in his soul how
special the united states was and what the united states could do for its people and for the world. sometimes we forget the stories of the excruciating pain that senator mccain went through as a pow. in 2000, david foster wallace in the rolling stone magazine wrote, and i want to give you by reciting that article some of the graphic detail, after he had been nearly beaten to death and his weight had gone down to 100 pounds, so the
commander at the prison camp, when they find out that his father was a four-star admiral and his grandfather was a four-star admiral, they decided that they were going to offer him early release. and this is what the writer writes . mccain, 100 pounds and barely able to stand refused the release. the us code of military conduct for prisoners of war said that pows had to be released in the order that they were captured and there were others who had been at that prison a longer time and mccain refused to violate the code. the commandant of that prison , not pleased, right in the
office where he had brought mccain to tell him that he was going to be released, the commandant ordered his guards to break his ribs i, re-break his arm, not his teeth out and mccain still refused to leave without the other pows. so then he spent four more years in prison like this, much of the time in solitary, in the dark, in a closet -sized box called the punishment cell. now, maybe some of you have heard this before.
it's certainly been a lot of profiles on john mccain. but try to imagine the moment between getting offered early release and turning it down. try to imagine if it was you. imagine how loudly your most basic, primal self interest would have cried out to you in that moment and all the ways you could rationalize accepting that prison commandants offer . can you hear it? if so, would you have refused to go?you simply can't know for sure. none of us can. it's hard to even imagine the pain and the fear in that moment, much less how you would react. that was written 18 years ago about john.
so in that moment, you could summarize his courage, his strength, his will to overcome, but here in the senate, we saw a leader who thought that public service was a noble calling. a leader who always tried to do the right thing, who always put the people of his country ahead of himself. and an individual who always believed that we as americans can subscribe to a cause greater then ourselves. america is certainly going to miss john mccain. with this senator, it was
certainly a privilege as well to know the mccains and to look up to him as a role model, not only for this senator but for the entire country. mister president, i yieldthe floor . >> mister president, i come to the floor today to speak in honor and memory of our colleague senator john sidney mccain the third area i asked myself a series of questions as i was trying to prepare for today'scomments . first, who was john mccain? john was a man deeply in love with his country and its promise. a man optimistic that tomorrow would be better than today and the man gratl