I am writing today as a daughter whose father, Robert C. Amerson, also served a mission to his country, a place organized around inspiring ideals, our best selves affirmed by principals worth defending, an America that is generous, welcoming, bold, resourceful, and secure because of our capacity to inspire others.

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(Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP)

“He grasped that our purpose and meaning was rooted in a missionary responsibility, stretching back centuries….Just as the first Americans looked upon a new world full of potential for a grand experiment in freedom and self-government, so their descendants have a responsibility to defend the old world from its worst self….” Mehgan McCain, eulogizing her father, John McCain.

“John understood, as JFK understood, as Ronald Reagan understood, that part of what makes our country great is that our membership is based not on our blood line, not on what we look like, what our last names are, not based on where our parents or grandparents came from or how recently they arrived, but on adherence to a common creed that all of us are created equal


….that our security and our influence was won not just by our military might, not just by our wealth, not just by our ability to bend others to our will, but from our capacity to inspire others with our adherence to a set of universal values. Like rule of law and human rights and insistence on the god-given dignity of every human being….So much of our politics, our public life, our public discourse can seem small and mean and petty. Trafficking in bombastic manufactured outrage, it’s politics that pretends to be brave and tough, but in fact is born of fear.” Former President Barack Obama’s eulogy of John McCain, September 1, 2018.

He saw our country not only as a physical place or power, but as the carrier of enduring human aspirations. As an advocate for the oppressed.

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 Published OnSept. 1, 2018CreditCreditImage by Shawn Thew/EPA, via Shutterstock

As a defender of the peace. As a promise, unwavering, undimmed, unequaled ….The strength of a democracy is renewed by reaffirming the principles on which it was founded….If we are ever tempted to forget who we are, to grow weary of our cause, John’s voice will always come as a whisper over our shoulder: We are better than this.  America is better than this.” Former President George W. Bush’s eulogy of John McCain.


Dad’s young voice, the voice of an optimistic new international outreach operation called the US Information Service, is over my shoulder, calling out the chorus: “We are better than this. America is better than this.”

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