COLUMBIA, SC - Senator John McCain died Saturday at the age of 81. The military hero started his public service career in 1958 when he graduated from the Naval Academy.
After surviving being kidnaped and tortured during the Vietnam War, McCain continued his public service by entering the world of politics.
Flags at the South Carolina State House flew at half-staff Monday to remember Senator John McCain.
Political and community leaders say the war hero will be remembered for his heart and not his politics.
Several South Carolina lawmakers posted their condolences and sympathies on social media after hearing of McCain's death.
SC Governor Henry McMaster tweeted, "He was among the greatest of men and he was my friend."
US Senator Tim Scott echoed those sentiments. Scott posted on Twitter, "John McCain is an American hero."
A former political correspondent for national news networks explained why John McCain stands out from the rest of the political crowd.
"He told you what he thought not what he was supposed to think what the party thought but whatever was really his perspective on things. he almost treasured the notion that he was the maverick," said Charles Bierbauer.
Maverick, according to Webster's Dictionary, is an independent individual who doesn't go along with the group. McCain was known for not caving under the pressure of his own political party and helping blend often divided party lines.
Bierbauer recalled his interactions with McCain while working in Washington, D.C.
"Among his close friends were Joe Biden and Ted Kennedy.. two Democrats, two prominent Democrats and you wish there were more of that today because Congress is so deeply split between the two parties there's not enough John McCain approach to things to say ok when can we find middle ground."
Democrats like SC Representative Todd Rutherford offered a similar description of the late McCain. Rutherford tweeted, "I honestly think if we had more McCains in public service our politics would be better."
Senator McCain was elected to the US House of Representatives from Arizona in 1982. The navy hero turned politicians spent more than 50 years serving the American people.
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