The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Memories of McCain

Photo by Creative Commons

Late Arizona Senator John McCain played a significant role in graduate student Taylor Rogers’ life and political career.

As memorial services begin on Wednesday for the late Arizona Senator John McCain, one Aggie is reflecting on the time she spent with this icon of American public service.
McCain died on Aug. 25 after a year long battle with brain cancer. He was 81 years old. Time Magazine reports that after several days of funeral services in Arizona and Washington D.C., McCain will be buried on Sunday at his alma mater, the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.
Taylor Rogers, agriculture communications and journalism graduate, met McCain as a child and was part of his last intern cohort in Washington, D.C. from July to August 2018.
“I met him in the fourth and fifth grade,” Rogers said. “I travelled with the Arizona Farm Bureau because my dad was the president. As young people, I feel like we can’t talk to higher-up officials, but he would always say, ‘Come sit in my chair,’ or ‘What do you think on education?’ Everytime I met him, he was beyond personable.”
According to Rogers, McCain radiated courage and maintained a sincere commitment to bipartisanship.
“He’s not afraid to state the unpopular opinion,” Rogers said. “When I was in D.C., a lot of the bills that we worked on were bipartisan, and when he was sick, he even had a democratic senator introduce the bill for him. He believed that we can still get along despite opposing opinions. Everybody might not always like what he has to say, but you know that he’s coming from a place of truth.”
Rogers said determining a singular admirable aspect of McCain’s personality is impossible since he exemplified so many, from heroism to camaraderie.
“Not only did he run for president twice, he was a prisoner-of-war,” Rogers said. “When the people who captured him realized that his father and grandfather were high up in the military, they offered for him to go but he said no. He said that he was going to stay until his fellow men were allowed to leave. To him, it was all or none.”
According to Rogers, there was a void in his office that could only be filled with his return. With news of McCain’s passing, Rogers said a period of grief ensued.
“I was shocked and extremely sad having just been in his office with all of his staff,” Rogers said. “He and my dad were friends, so I was sad for my dad, too. There’s a mourning for the country and a mourning for Arizona. Yet, I have a great sense of honor and pride in knowing that I was his last intern.”
Rogers said McCain’s actions have set a standard of reputable dignity for years to come.
“From him, we have learned that you have to stick to your guns,” Rogers said. “We have learned that it doesn’t matter what side of the table you’re on; it matters that you get to be at the table. He taught us that your voice matters and deserves to be heard.”

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