Jules Witcover

Witcover: The twin messages of the McCain tributes

Witcover: The twin messages of the McCain tributes

Last week's extraordinary memorial services honoring the late Sen. John McCain in Arizona, the nation's capital and the Naval Academy were attended by three former presidents. But they also carried a largely unspoken rebuke to the sitting president uninvited to all of them.

The prime focus obviously and necessarily was on McCain's accomplishments as a longtime U.S. senator, former Republican presidential nominee and Vietnam War hero, wounded and tortured as a prisoner of war.

But for all the pomp and circumstance, inevitably hanging over all of it was the contrast between the outpouring of a nation's genuine respect and esteem for McCain's long life of true public service...

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