Executive Order No. 35 (2018) -

Executive Order No. 35 (2018)

Governor Philip D. Murphy

Executive Order No. 35 (2018)

A Tribute to the Life and Passing of John McCain III

Issued: August 27, 2018.

Effective: August 27, 2018.

WHEREAS, Senator John McCain was born John Sidney McCain III on August 29, 1936 at Coco Solo Naval Air Station in the Panama Canal Zone; and

WHEREAS, like his father and grandfather, Senator McCain chose to serve his country and become a naval officer, graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis in 1958; and

WHEREAS, Senator McCain began his twenty-three year military career in 1958 when he was commissioned as an ensign; and

WHEREAS, in 1967, Senator McCain began combat duty as a naval pilot during the bombing campaign Operation Rolling Thunder during the Vietnam War; and

WHEREAS, on October 26, 1967, while on his 23rd bombing mission, Senator McCain's fighter aircraft was shot down by a missile over Hanoi; and

WHEREAS, Senator McCain ejected from the aircraft, and after nearly drowning, he was pulled ashore and captured by the North Vietnamese; and

WHEREAS, Senator McCain was held by the North Vietnamese for five-and-a-half years and was brutally tortured during his period in captivity, leaving physical injuries that would last for the remainder of his life; and

WHEREAS, when Senator McCain's father was named commander of all U.S. forces in the Vietnamese theater in 1968, the North Vietnamese offered to release Senator McCain for propaganda purposes and Senator McCain, despite his inhumane and barbaric treatment, refused release unless every prisoner of war captured before him was also released, as provided in the military Code of Conduct; and

WHEREAS, Senator McCain was finally released on March 14, 1973, and after grueling physical therapy, continued his military career, which lasted until he retired as a captain in 1981; and

WHEREAS, for his brave and distinguished military service, Senator McCain received the Silver Star, two Legions of Merits, the Distinguished Flying Cross, three Bronze Stars, two Purple Hearts, two Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals, and the Prisoner of War Medal; and

WHEREAS, Senator McCain began his political career in 1982, when he was elected to represent Arizona's 1st congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives; and

WHEREAS, Senator McCain served two terms in the U.S. House of Representatives before being elected in 1986 to represent Arizona in the U.S. Senate, where he would serve for over thirty-one years; and

WHEREAS, Senator McCain worked with Senator John Kerry on the Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs to investigate whether any U.S. service personnel remained in captivity from the Vietnam War, and later helped normalize diplomatic relations with Vietnam; and

WHEREAS, Senator McCain earned a reputation in the Senate as a maverick, working across the aisle with Democrats on issues such as campaign finance reform and anti-smoking legislation; and

WHEREAS, Senator McCain launched his first bid for the presidency in the 2000 election, where, despite being vastly outspent, he won the New Hampshire Republican primary and primaries in six other states before succumbing to then-Texas Governor George W. Bush; and

WHEREAS, returning to the Senate, Senator McCain continued to be an independent voice, opposing tax cuts that favored the wealthy, passing landmark campaign finance reform legislation, supporting a cap-and-trade system, leading the fight for comprehensive immigration reform, and shaping national security policy in the war on terrorism, including passing an amendment to ban inhumane treatment of prisoners; and

WHEREAS, Senator McCain again declared his candidacy for president in the 2008 election, and this time prevailed over a crowded primary field and won the Republican nomination; and

WHEREAS, while Senator McCain was defeated in the general election by then-Illinois Senator Barack Obama, Senator McCain campaigned with remarkable civility, including several memorable moments where he publicly rebuffed false conspiracy theories that were being spread about Senator Obama; and

WHEREAS, throughout the Obama administration, Senator McCain continued to play a leading role in national security policy as ranking member and later Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, where he often disagreed with the Obama administration but consistently fought for a strong American role in the world that would support democracy and human rights; and

WHEREAS, during this time, I served as the U.S. Ambassador to Germany and had the privilege both to get to know Senator McCain and to witness firsthand his commitment to Transatlantic partnerships between the United States and Europe; and

WHEREAS, after being diagnosed with brain cancer, Senator McCain returned to the Senate to cast the deciding vote against a proposed repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; and

WHEREAS, on August 25, 2018, after sixty years of tireless and dedicated service to his country, Senator McCain passed away at the age of 81; and

WHEREAS, Senator McCain leaves behind his wife Cindy of thirty-eight years, and his seven children, including his daughter Meghan, who has become a noted public figure in her own right; and

WHEREAS, Senator McCain is and always will be an American hero, one who displayed unthinkable physical courage in the face of unimaginable cruelty, and who was guided by a continuous and never-ending commitment to serving the greater good; and

WHEREAS, Senator McCain's lifetime of service will forever be an inspiration to the country that he loved and the world that he helped shape; and

WHEREAS, it is fitting and appropriate to extend our sincerest sympathies to Senator McCain's family and friends, and to honor and celebrate the life of a brave American patriot who will never be forgotten;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, PHILIP D. MURPHY, Governor of the State of New Jersey, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and by the Statutes of this State, do hereby ORDER and


1. The flag of the United States of America and the flag of New Jersey shall be flown at half-staff at all State departments, offices, agencies, and instrumentalities during appropriate hours on Wednesday, August 29, 2018, in recognition and mourning of an American hero, Senator John McCain.

2. This Order shall take effect immediately.

(Published September 7, 2010 in the New Jersey Register at 42 N.J.R. 1931(a). Published August 27, 2018 in the New Jersey Register at 50 N.J.R. 2039(b).)

The following state regulations pages link to this page.