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John McCain was admired by supporters and adversaries for his bravery as a military warrior and his courage to rise above party politics.

He died Saturday at age 81.

Here are some of the late senator’s more memorable comments:

After his capture in North Vietnam

When given a chance to send a message back home after his A-4 Skyhawk was shot down in 1967 and he was captured in North Vietnam, he said:

“I would just like to tell my wife I’m, I’ll get well. I love her, and hope to see her soon. I appreciate if you will tell her.”

This picture taken in 1967 shows McCain lying on a bed in a Hanoi hospital.
Bettmann Archive/getty images
This picture taken in 1967 shows McCain lying on a bed in a Hanoi hospital.

Respecting his opponents

In the late 1980s, Mo Elleithee, a Democratic campaign strategist who was 16 at the time, met the senator.

Mo Elleithee: “I’m honored to meet you even though I disagree with you.”

McCain: “Well, I’m honored to represent you even though you disagree with me.”

Taking the blame

When running for President in 2000, he changed his public stance about the Confederate battle flag after he told South Carolina voters the banner stood as a symbol of heritage.

“I did not do so for one reason alone. I feared that if I answered honestly, I could not win the South Carolina primary. So I chose to compromise my principles. I broke my promise to always tell the truth.”

Then Republican presidential nomination hopefuls George W. Bush, Gary Bauer and John McCain debated in Durham, North Carolina in 2000.
STEPHAN SAVOIA/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Then Republican presidential nomination hopefuls George W. Bush, Gary Bauer and John McCain debated in Durham, North Carolina in 2000.

Speaking up for Obama

A man said on the 2008 campaign trail that he had concerns about Barack Obama, telling McCain, “We’re scared of an Obama presidency … I’m concerned about someone that cohorts with domestic terrorists …”

McCain responded, amid boos, “I have to tell you he’s a decent person, and a person that you do not have to be scared of as President of the United States.”