Remembering John McCain

Interview with Ambassador Ferdinando Salleo 

Following the weeks of John McCain’s passing, former Secretary General in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Italy, Ambassador Ferdinando Salleo shared his memories of the late Arizona Senator in a commemorating interview.

The first time meeting the Senator was during Salleo’s time as Ambassador of Italy in Washington D.C. from 1995-2003.  His first impressions of the war hero were those of devoted patriotism for his country, followed by a great sense of humor. Although his strict observance of value and principles that public life requires, McCain also possessed knowledge of classical literature, a unique quality that stood out to Salleo.  Furthermore, Salleo was also impressed with McCain’s strong affection towards the Italian culture and the country itself.  In Salleo’s own words, John McCain personified the “dignity and style of the ancient Romans.”

When asked what John McCain should best be remembered for, Salleo answered without hesitation that it should be his zealous affection for his country.  McCain personified American values throughout his public life by always valuing a sense of generosity and expressing the importance of liberties and freedom.

Some may argue, that losing a force like John McCain will weaken the foundation of the “old Republican party,” however Salleo encourages Americans to remember that the Republican party once stood for the platforms of Lincoln and Eisenhower.  Salleo also expressed the idea that McCain was a forward thinking man, in a way where he constantly tried to conquer new frontiers for the love of his country and human rights.

In conclusion, Ambassador Salleo gave his final remarks about John McCain while reflecting on the best memory shared between the two of them.  In a casual conversation, Salleo and McCain discussed their views on how to achieve peace on a global scale.  Somewhat surprisingly, the Vietnam veteran strongly emphasized the notion for strong, verifiable, disarmament agreements throughout the world. As their meeting concluded, McCain passed on a valuable piece of advice to the Ambassador when he stated, “those who have seen a war, can only be men of peace.”

Charles Francis 

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