SCOTT SIMON, HOST:
When people on all political sides have claimed Senator John McCain a hero this week after his diagnosis of cancer was announced, it wasn't just for his time as prisoner of war. It was for the way he's reached across the divides in American life, lampooned pomposity - including his own - often bucked his own party and has been both gruff and graceful. Remember the night he lost the presidency in 2008.
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JOHN MCCAIN: This is an historic election. And I recognize the special significance it has for African-Americans and for the special pride that must be theirs tonight. I've always believed that America offers opportunities to all who have the industry and will to seize it. Senator Obama believes that, too. But we both recognize that though we have come a long way from the old injustices that once stained our nation's reputation and denied some Americans the full blessings of American citizenship, the memory of them still had the power to wound.
Tonight, more than any night, I hold in my heart nothing but love for this country and for all its citizens, whether they supported me or Senator Obama. Whether they supported me or Senator Obama, I wish Godspeed to the man who was my former opponent and will be my president. And I call on all Americans, as I have often in this campaign, to not despair of our present difficulties but to believe always in the promise and greatness of America because nothing is inevitable here. Americans never quit. We never surrender. We never hide from history. We make history. Thank you. And God bless you. And God bless America. Thank you all very much.
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