Posted by: Dahni | August 28, 2018


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By Dahni
©️ 2018, all rights reserved

Respectfully, this post could have been simply titled: Dear John,

US Senator, John Sidney McCain III

August 29, 1936-August 25, 2018

President Nixon greeting John McCain after his return from capture in Vietnam

Maverick, fighter, courageous, controversial, contentious and compassionate. These and more are perhaps, just a few words of how this man’s 81 years, could be described by those that loved and knew him best.

Besides his long service as a United States Senator from Arizona, I knew of him as a veteran of the United States Navy, the same military branch that both our father and my father in law had served with. Beyond this, I knew of him as a surprise guest, to honor the crews of the WWW II sailor’s organizations and their ships, the U.S.S. Murphy and the U.S.S. Quincy. Senator McCain was invited to attend this joint reunion, at the banquet dinner, in Rochester, NY, August 16, 2008. I know this because, I personally invited him to attend, as a special and surprise guest.

Senator McCain was not able to attend and I was not able to have ever met him personally, but I was in written communication, with his wonderful staff. And to MY surprise, Senator McCain personally wrote a letter, sent to me in a manner as if he WAS in attendance if at least, “in spirit”. Later, I will share, a copy of his letter.

Beyond his words, as if being written; as if he was there, it captured the sum and substance of the honor long overdue to the families, friends and the crews of the Murphy and the Quincy. His letter was signed with all humility, without his title and simply, “sincerely, John”!

McCain’s Letter copy PDF (click to view)

His letter was read aloud reverently, respectively and verbatim at the banquet. It was reciprocated by a letter of appreciation to him, personally signed by those crew members in attendance, the Men of the Murphy and of the Men of the Quincy.

One of first things done at these reunion banquets each year, was ‘the ringing of the ship’s bell, in honor of those that had passed away, that year, prior to the reunion. And in familiarity as if the crews had said this themselves and in honor of Senator McCain, “the bell has now tolled”, for “John”.

The crew of the Murphy often thought of and spoke of those who had passed and preceded them in death, as having gone on to safe harbor, anchored at, ‘The Eternal Port’.

Most of those that signed the letter to Senator McCain, have already preceded him. On behalf of them and in their honor, they welcome “John” to ‘The Eternal Port’! As Senator McCain wrote to them, they now repeat the glad refrain, to their fellow Navy member, “Fair winds and Following Seas”

For more information see:

For more images, information and other items, click on the reunion year 2008, and its associative links.

Just I-Magine,


  1. Hi Dahni.

    This is fascinating! My step grandfather, Elliott Senn, was the Captain if the USS Quincy.

    Hope all is well.


    Small world. “Fascinating” indeed!


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