McCain’s words at Thompson memorial resonate more today

Top Stories

As America says its final goodbye to Senator John McCain this weekend, some of his special moments in Tennessee are also being remembered.  

Using his trademark humor and passion, the “Maverick of the Senate” was on full display nearly three years when he eulogized Sen. Fred Thompson at Nashville’s War Memorial Plaza.  

With words that might have been said about himself, McCain said Thompson was “… perfectly natural and perfectly larger than life.” 

Thompson’s Hollywood acting career, which was sandwiched around his six years in Washington, received plenty of attention from McCain at the memorial service.  

“I may have once been a Navy aviator, but in The Hunt for Red October, Fred played an admiral so convincingly they all thought he really was one,” said McCain bring laughter from the crowd. 

Another major moment for McCain in Tennessee came as one of the 2008 presidential debates was at Nashville’s Belmont University, but it was a few months earlier campaigning at Nashville’s Montgomery Bell Academy when the senator displayed the fire that won the Republican nomination. 

Iraq was an issue then like it is now. 

“Never set a date for withdrawal which is a date for surrender,” shouted McCain to the campaign rally. “Senator Obama and Senator Clinton want to waive the white flag of surrender. They will surrender my friends. I will never surrender.” 

As the country now says goodbye to the Maverick of the Senate, McCain’s final words for  Thompson resonate more than ever 

“So, Fred, I will say goodbye with a customary farewell from one old soldier to another. Fair winds and following seas dear friend,” McCain said with his voice halting. “I will see you again someday.” 

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

WATE 6 On Your Side Twitter