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McCain Institute Statement on 3rd Anniversary of Capitol Attack

Let’s Remember John McCain’s Words of Unity


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Ahead of the third anniversary of the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol, McCain Institute Executive Director Dr. Evelyn Farkas issued the below statement reflecting on this somber anniversary and the late Senator John McCain’s enduring message of unity:

“January 6, 2021, will forever be engraved in our collective memory as one of the darkest days in our nation’s history. Thousands of people attempted to disrupt the sacred democratic process of peacefully transitioning presidential power. Their actions, an attempt to overturn the people’s will, involved storming the Capitol and engaging in violent confrontations with law enforcement, all to thwart our elected leaders from fulfilling their constitutional responsibilities. This day severely tarnished an image long admired worldwide: America’s seamless and dignified transfer of leadership.

“At the McCain Institute, we are deeply committed to preserving and honoring the profound legacy of Senator John McCain, a man who dedicated himself to our nation’s service. In his final days and his last message to the country, he highlighted the hurdles America faces, reflecting on his own presidential bid. His words were emotional: ‘Ten years ago, I had the privilege to concede defeat in the election for president. I want to end my farewell to you with heartfelt faith in Americans that I felt so powerfully that evening. I feel it powerfully still. Do not despair of our present difficulties, we believe always in the promise and greatness of America because nothing is inevitable here. Americans never quit, we never surrender, we never hide from history, we make history.’

“Senator McCain would be saddened by today’s political climate, where violence and intimidation cast a shadow on our democratic process, causing a loss of faith in our institutions. Yet, he would remain steadfast in uniting Americans and reminding them of the shared values that make our country great. Despite disheartening events like January 6, McCain’s words continue to inspire: ‘We are 325 million opinionated, vociferous individuals. We argue and compete and sometimes even vilify each other in our raucous public debates. But, we have always had so much more in common with each other than in disagreement. If only we remember that and give each other the benefit of the presumption that we all love our country, we’ll get through these challenging times.’”

Publish Date
January 5, 2024