This week, like all Americans, Brunswick County Democrats mourn the passing of a true American hero. Although we may have disagreed with John McCain on many issues, the integrity and patriotism of the senator from Arizona and presidential nominee was never in question. Perhaps the best way to honor John McCain is to recall the many examples of the courage he displayed throughout his years of service. The courage to enlist as a soldier who fought bravely in Viet Nam. The courage as a prisoner of war to refuse an early release by his captors. The courage as a senator to do what he felt was right regardless of whether it followed his party’s doctrine. The courage as a presidential candidate to correct supporters when they inappropriately criticized his opponent. The courage in defeat to eloquently celebrate the milestone that electing the first African-American president represented. The courage to publicly admit his mistakes. The courage in his final days to buck his party and be the deciding vote against efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Sadly, the death of John McCain marks the end of an era. A time when moderation and bipartisanship were not the exception but rather the rule. A time when people the world over looked to America for leadership and guidance, and as a haven for those fleeing oppression. John McCain, rest in peace. The world will never be the same without you.