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John McCain’s Words Still Resonate Today

Senator John McCain Senator John McCain

Senator John McCain, the recipient of the 2014 Spirit of Jan Karski Award bestowed by the Jan Karski Educational Foundation, died on August 25, 2018, at the age of 81. Please read this tribute by the Jan Karski Educational Foundation’s Chairman of the Board, Andrzej Rojek.

We, at the Jan Karski Educational Foundation, mourn the loss of Senator John McCain, who embodied all that is good and virtuous in a man. He was courageous beyond belief, true to his convictions and a solid patriot. He believed in his country and in the mission of public service, which he embraced throughout his life. His last fight was the most valiant, the one which he ultimately lost. However, for all of us, the day of November 20, 2014, when we listened to the remarks about Jan Karski recorded by Senator McCain, was truly a special one. His message (link below) did not lose one iota of accuracy, and his words resonate as strongly today as they did four years ago.

Europe was a place of particular significance for John McCain. Just in the last few years, he never hesitated to visit the most endangered parts of our continent – not endangered by a natural disaster, but by the loss of democratic principles. He visited Maidan as one of the first prominent foreign politicians. He was always ready to respond to a call on threats to human rights anywhere in the world. 

The Foundation had regularly kept in touch with Senator McCain's office after he accepted the Spirit of Jan Karski Award, especially when he wrote the famous letter to the Polish authorities defending democracy in our country. We provided him with information about Poland and were proud to count him among the friends of the Foundation. And we do know that for him, Jan Karski was an extraordinary person. John McCain was planning a visit to Poland. Regrettably, this visit will not happen, but he will live in the hearts and minds of Poles.

We will miss John McCain, one of the most distinguished US Senators of the modern era and a great friend of Poles, a true believer in the ethos of Jan Karski.

 Andrzej Rojek

Chair, Jan Karski Educational Foundation

Senator John McCain accepts the Spirit of Jan Karski Award.