New England lawmakers are reacting to the passing of U.S. Sen. John McCain, who died Saturday surrounded by family. He was 81.
McCain, who was also a Vietnam POW survivor, was diagnosed with brain cancer in July 2017. He announced on Friday he was ending medical treatment.
The Republican died on the same day as former Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy. Sen. Kennedy died in 2009 from the same type of brain cancer that McCain had battled.
While sometimes having opposite viewpoints on many political issues, McCain and Kennedy considered each others friends.
During Kennedy's funeral service, McCain read a eulogy in which he said he "admired (Kennedy's) passion for his convictions, his patience with the hard and sometimes dull work of legislating, and his uncanny sense for when differences could be bridged."
Victoria Reggie Kennedy, the wife of Sen. Kennedy, wrote in a statement, "Like Teddy, John McCain loved the United States Senate and believed in its power to impact lives in a positive way. Indeed, he declared from the floor of the U.S. Senate that the proudest and most satisfying moments of his career were when he worked with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to address our greatest challenges."
In 1999, McCain received the John F. Kennedy "Profile in Courage" award.
Several New England lawmakers took to Twitter to express their condolences to the McCain family.
Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren wrote "John McCain was fiercely devoted to his family, his constituents, and his country. My heart goes out to his family and loved ones during this difficult time. As a nation, we all share in the sense of emptiness his passing has left behind."
Senator Ed Markey wrote "The entire country is thinking of Senator McCain and his family right now. Our hearts, our strength, our love are with you."
New Hampshire Senator Maggie Hassan wrote "John McCain is a true American hero and we will never be able to thank him enough for his courage and service to our nation."