I did not vote for John McCain, but like many others, I respected his patriotism and decency. I will always remember his gentle correction to the woman who thought Obama was an Arab. In her mind, that evidently meant he was a threat to America. His words of assurance and call for respect reminded me of Lincoln, who appealed to our “better angels” and urged Americans, as the Civil War neared its end, to “bind up the nation's wounds” and to act “with malice toward none, with charity for all.”

How different from the egotistical Donald Trump, who spreads divisions and mistrust.

It’s no wonder McCain did not want Trump to speak at his funeral. Who can doubt Trump would have used the occasion to sing his own praises and lash out against those who oppose him?

At a time when deep divisions, fear and hate are gripping the land, and far too many are profiting off it, McCain understood that we are all Americans and that a house divided cannot stand. McCain understood what Trump will never understand and showed the courage that is sadly lacking in today’s GOP.

As a Vietnam-era veteran who disagreed often with him, I salute John McCain, a true American patriot.

Charles Lawrence

Johnston

The writer served in the U.S. Air Force.