Kyiv Security Forum

Address of the Honorable Cindy McCain to the Kyiv Security Forum 2019

11 April 2019, 20:16

As you know, my late husband, John, traveled the world regularly, fighting for the rights of people to have their God-given dignity respected.  His was a life of adventure lived in service to the cause of freedom and justice for all people everywhere.  In that cause, he made many friends and more than a few enemies, - the right friends and the right enemies.

Among the causes he supported and the friends he made none were dearer to him than Ukraine’s freedom and independence, and the people here who fought so that Ukrainians could decide their own future.

He often observed to me and our family and friends that of the many experiences that had inspired him, his experiences here during the Maidan were some of the most unforgettable moments of his crowded life. And so was the New Year’s Eve he spent with Ukrainian Marines on the frontlines fighting those who would let another country decide Ukraine’s future.

Your cause was his cause. John believed in you. And he would be so honored by your appreciation for him, and by the street you’re naming for him.

He wanted a Ukraine whose future was with Europe and the West. Most of all, he wanted a Ukraine where liberal political values were protected in law and custom, a Ukraine where freedom, justice and prosperity were the common possession of her citizens, a Ukraine, hopefully at peace, but secure from the predations of her enemies.

That is the Ukraine you are building. And as much as John was honored to help you achieve it, he respected Ukrainians. He knew the achievement must be yours.  Ukrainians must choose their own future. He had faith you would choose the right course. And he believed the United States and Europe had a moral obligation to support you, and your defense of Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity from the aggression of foreign powers.

John died knowing Ukrainians were on your way to that future, and capable of achieving it in your lifetimes even if a good friend or two in the West were not here to see it. He would be so proud of what you have done and so confident of what you will do.

As I said, he believed in you. Thank you for believing in him. Thank you for honoring him, not only with tributes but with your courage and righteousness. You were an inspiration to him, and those of us who loved him and believed in the causes he believed in, are grateful to you.

Thank you. 

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