The legacy of John McCain

A look back, remembering the life of Arizona senator and Vietnam War hero John McCain and his profound dedication to the United States.
4:34 | 08/26/18

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Transcript for The legacy of John McCain
And senator McCain served from an eay age. War hero, surviving five years in captivity, and turning that unimable adversity into decades of Servi here's D Muir with his life and legacy. Reporter: John McCain was born A29th, 1936at a naval base in the Panama canal ne hifather, Bo Joh fate was laef him. Rember when D's friends would be over when I was very you D they'd say, "What class is they going to be," not, "Is he going the ademy or not," "What class wohe be?" Annapolis in father and grandfather. Would graduate part of the class of 1958. Here, heading toght school in Pensacola, Florida. He would later volun to drop bombs on targets in north he guns were. And weteide to it. It is what we trained for and what our mission is. Orter: At years old, aboard the aircraft Carrie oriskany, flying an a-4 skyhawk on released a bomb, an emy missile takes a wing off his bomber. Jects, breaking both his arms and one leg. His bomber washing ashore. McCain would land in ae in thnter of the city of Hanoi. The Vietnamese would pull him out water and capture him. They would him, beat him. And th, take him prison camp later known as the Hanoi Hilton. Filmed as a P., he was asked his name. Hat is your name? Lieenant commander joccain. Repr: Unable to his hands, he had to be fed by his captors. His ir strength to his fellow prisoners. How's your food? It's not like Paris. But I eat it. Reporteeteriorating in strength and with pain R months, etnamese only treated his wounds after they realized he was the son of a famous admiral. I see you have a famous name. Y Reporter: The Vietnamese would have an offer. They would tell him he couo home. Famous his family was. But McCain would refuse. Old them hdidn't want to break the U.S. Military code of conduct for Ws. The first man captured must be T. I badly wanted to go home. S tired and sick Reporter: McCain would stay her four years as a P.O.W., half of confinemt. In 1 591 P.O.W.S W released andcain was one of them. Commander John McCain. Reporter: A salute and home on American soil, reunited with his family. Deciding to serve his in new way. I'm announcing decion to become a candidate. Reporthe house 982 and to the sen four years later. He wouldun for predent in 2000. And again in 2008. Campaignagainst then senatorbarack Obama, McCain would dinkable in today's politics. He defended his opponent. I can't tbama. -- He Arab. He's not No, Mam. No, ma No? M he's a decenmily man, zen, that St happen to have disagreements with on fundamental is and that's wthn is about. He's not. Thank you. Orter: And it a year ago, he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Rein the senatfloor justs after brain surgery. Lking in Ta standing ovation. Casting thiding thumbs down vote heart to repeal Obamacare without a replacement. In one of his final public appearances,in joininghis daughter, Meghan. I love you so much. Nths with family and fries, and reflecting in his autobiograhe power of human the power of what we all have inmmon. Before I leave, I'd like to sepolitics begin to return to the purposes and practices at distingsh our history from the history of other S. I'd like to see us recover O that we are more alike than drent. Senatorccain's finish. Our thanksdavid muiror

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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