(LANCASTER, OHIO) – It was 41 years ago to the day that one of the most defining events in John McCain's life happened – he was shot down over Vietnam and taken prisoner, not to be released for over five years.
"It was a long time ago...this day that I intercepted a surface to air missile with my own airplane. It was no mean feat. Not a very good pilot, but – you know, I spent a long time, and the great privilege and honor of my life to this day is that I had the honor of serving in a company of heroes. I was no hero," McCain said. "I know what it's like to be deprived of freedom. And I know what it's like to love this country, and I know that the noblest thing that any of can do is serve a cause greater than our self interest. That's what America's all about, and that's what these young men who are serving are doing today."
McCain has said the experience made him more appreciative of his country and launched him into a life of public service.
"When I send the young Americans into harm's way, it will only be because America's national security is threatened," McCain continued. "I know the enemies we're facing, and I know who our friends are, and I know how to deal with both. I don't need any on the job training."