Since the passing of Arizona Sen. John McCain, there has been an outpouring of support from people around the world about how he impacted their lives. One of those people is a New Hampshire woman who left a lasting impression on the senator.
You’ve likely heard McCain tell the story because he’s told it hundreds of times — about the mother he met in Wolfeboro during a 2007 town hall meeting.
“I would like to know, Sir, if you would wear this so that you can remember your mission and their mission in support of them,” said Lynn Savage, who lived in Wolfeboro at the time.
“I would be honored and grateful,” McCain replied, as he took a black bracelet from Savage.
Savage now lives in Kentucky and spoke with NBC10 Boston via FaceTime on Monday.
“I just thought, ‘Well, if he will wear this and speak their names, they’ll never be forgotten that way,’” she said.
Savage had just lost her 22-year-old son, Army Cpl. Matt Stanley, who was killed in action in Iraq in December of 2006.
“Thank you for his service,” McCain said that night. “Yes ma’am, I will wear this, thank you.”
After he put the bracelet on, from the Senate floor to family outings, he never took it off.
And at almost every event after that 2007 town hall, McCain would mention Savage and her son.
“I wear his bracelet and think of him every day,” McCain told the crowd at his 2008 nomination acceptance speech.
“I was shocked, absolutely shocked,” Savage said. “It’s not something I ever expected.”
A politician who kept a promise that she says helped heal her broken heart.
“He never let people forget that there was still a war going on and that not everybody made it home,” Savage said.
And Monday, she said her heart was breaking again, as she mourns the loss of a man she calls America’s greatest patriot.
“He was a good man, a good honest man,” Savage said. “We should be grateful and revel in the fact that he did walk this earth and made it a little bit better for everybody.”
In McCain’s recently published book, he told the bracelet story again, writing, “I will wear it for the rest of my life.”
One of McCain’s closest friends tells us, he did.