Navajo Nation Council Speaker Bates on the Passing of Sen. John McCain

Navajo Code Talker John Kinsel Sr. speaks with U.S. Arizona Senator John McCain during the parade ride to the Veterans Memorial Park in Window Rock, Ariz., on August 14, 2015. (Special to the Navajo Times – Ravonelle Yazzie)

Published August 26, 2018

WINDOW ROCK —  Navajo Nation Council Speaker LoRenzo Bates (Nenahnezad, Newcomb, San Juan, Tiis Tsoh Sikaad, Tse’Daa’Kaan, Upper Fruitland) offers his heartfelt condolences to the family of U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ), who passed away on Saturday at the age of 81.

“On behalf of the Navajo Nation Council, I offer my thoughts and prayers for Cindy McCain, their children, and all of their family during this difficult time. We ask the Creator to bless you and your loved ones with comfort, strength, and the will to know that Senator McCain helped and changed the lives of many people throughout the world,” said Speaker Bates.

On Friday, Speaker Bates sent a letter to Senator McCain and his family expressing his appreciation for his lifelong service to the Navajo Nation, the state of Arizona, and the entire country. Speaker Bates was informed that Senator McCain received the letter before his passing, and that he offered his appreciation to the Council and his well wishes for the Navajo Nation.

“I offer my most heartfelt appreciation to you and your family for the help and assistance that you provided to the Navajo Nation and our people, and for your brave and honorable service to our country with the U.S. Navy,” wrote Speaker Bates.

Senator McCain served with the U.S. Navy from 1958 to 1981, before being elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1982, and to the U.S. Senate in 1987. He was a long-time member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs and met with Navajo Nation leaders on many occasions. At the time of his passing, Senator McCain was serving his sixth consecutive term representing the state of Arizona in the U.S. Senate.

Speaker Bates recalled Senator McCain as a strong, humble, and hard working person who was always willing to discuss issues and work toward resolving problems for all tribes. Senator McCain was also a great admirer and supporter of the Navajo Code Talkers. In 2015, Senator McCain visited the capital of the Navajo Nation on Navajo Code Talker Day, and spoke in honor and recognition of the Navajo Code Talkers and their families.   

“We admire his strength and resilience in serving our country until his final days. The Navajo Nation Council will continue to remember the McCain family in our thoughts and prayers and we will always be grateful for Senator McCain’s honorable service to the Navajo people and our country,” stated Speaker Bates.

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