Legendary American JOHN MCCAIN passed away at his ranch in Arizona on Saturday after a battle with brain cancer.  He was 81.

McCain announced his diagnosis a little over a year ago, after having surgery to remove a blood clot in his brain.  He returned to the Senate, where he was in his SIXTH term, but his health kept him away from Washington since December.

He served his country to the end, and it’s amazing that he was able to serve this long, since he ALMOST DIED during the Vietnam War.

He was a Navy pilot, and in October of 1967, he was shot down, seriously injured, and captured by the North Vietnamese.

He was a prisoner of war for more than FIVE YEARS.  During that time, he was tortured . . . and when he was finally released, he had a lot of physical disabilities, like never again being able to raise his arms above his head.

McCain has been in Congress since 1982.  He served two terms in the House of Representatives, followed by six terms in the Senate, beginning in 1987.

He ran for President twice.  In the 2000 election, he lost the Republican nomination to George W. Bush.  And in 2008, he was the Republican nominee, and infamously chose Sarah Palin as his running mate.

Of course, he lost to Barack Obama.  He did not run in 2016.

McCain was once asked how he wanted to be remembered, and he said, quote, “That I made a major contribution to the defense of the nation.”

McCain and President Trump were not on the best terms.  After McCain’s death, Trump Tweeted, quote, “My deepest sympathies and respect go out to the family of Senator John McCain.  Our hearts and prayers are with you!”

However, Trump reportedly nixed a planned White House statement that praised McCain as a “hero.”  He said he preferred to just stick with the Tweet to the family.  But at least the First Lady and Vice President had better sense when it came to acknowledging McCain’s years of service.

And the tension between Trump and McCain was mutual.  McCain reportedly asked that Trump NOT be at his funeral.  Former Presidents George W. Bush and Obama will be there, and are both expected to speak.

According to McCain’s official website, a memorial service will be held at Washington National Cathedral this Saturday.

After the funeral, Republican Arizona Governor Doug Ducey will name a replacement who will serve in the Senate until the 2020 election, when someone else will be elected to finish the remainder of McCain’s term through 2022.