During his 2008 presidential campaign, the Secret Service was tasked with protecting then-GOP nominee John McCain. Though the Secret Service is famously steely and professional at all times, the death of such an important figure in American politics — especially one they'd had the opportunity to work closely with for many months — made them open up a bit and pay tribute to the deceased Senator with his old code name.
It was an honor to protect @SenJohnMcCain during his candidacy for President. Phoenix - May you Rest In Peace. https://t.co/gMKJOUmqV4— U.S. Secret Service (@U.S. Secret Service)1535298066.0
The message touched Secret Service followers on Twitter:
@SecretService @robinta89909237 @SenJohnMcCain Of everything I have seen honoring John McCain, this is the one that did me in... 😢— Gracie (@Gracie)1535378700.0
@SecretService @SenJohnMcCain This is hitting us hard here in Washington. Rest easy, Sir. We are all grateful for y… https://t.co/EnUdelQxyf— Kim Fisher (@Kim Fisher)1535298321.0
@SecretService @SenJohnMcCain That was kind and bold of the Service to tweet.— Edison Aardvark (@Edison Aardvark)1535309224.0
@SecretService @lauferlaw @SenJohnMcCain God bless you all for your selfless service to our nation.— RespecttheTruth (@RespecttheTruth)1535314167.0
Phoenix was an especially apt name for the maverick Senator.
@SecretService @PixieWizard @SenJohnMcCain More people who serve our nation and put nation first! Thanks Secret Ser… https://t.co/6GtoZAGqeO— EndOfDicktatorDotard (@EndOfDicktatorDotard)1535307927.0
McCain's Secret Service code name was "Phoenix." If ever there was anyone who should rise from the ashes to fight again...🇺🇲️— Lisa Barger (@Lisa Barger)1535499058.0
The Secret Service wasn't alone in eulogizing McCain on Twitter. Prominent politicians and government agencies offered their condolences to his family.
John McCain believed that every citizen has a responsibility to make something of the freedoms given by our Constit… https://t.co/oI2cBhNH7v— Bill Clinton (@Bill Clinton)1535247414.0
.@SenJohnMcCain lived a life of service to his country, from his heroism in the Navy to 35 years in Congress. He wa… https://t.co/FQleqQXFPe— Hillary Clinton (@Hillary Clinton)1535249472.0
John McCain was a giant of our time—not just for the things he achieved, but for who he was and what he fought for… https://t.co/l5shnJTvTw— Paul Ryan (@Paul Ryan)1535245300.0
Politicians on both sides of the aisle remembered McCain as an inspiration in the political world.
Words cannot express the sorrow I feel at John McCain’s passing. The world has lost a hero and a statesman. Cindy a… https://t.co/CoJO81rcnp— Jeff Flake (@Jeff Flake)1535244361.0
As you go through life, you meet few truly great people. John McCain was one of them. His dedication to his country… https://t.co/fX5PcJe7Ot— Chuck Schumer (@Chuck Schumer)1535244019.0
His fellow Senators know he will be missed.
We will never forget the unparalleled courage, heart and service of John McCain. My thoughts are with his family as… https://t.co/w89jECTxqs— Kirsten Gillibrand (@Kirsten Gillibrand)1535243600.0
John McCain gave his life in service to this nation, exemplifying all that we admire in a hero. He was a warrior an… https://t.co/K7jElis8fw— Andrew Cuomo (@Andrew Cuomo)1535245785.0
Even outside the federal government, the Arizona Senator's absence will be felt...
John McCain served our nation with honor – first in the Navy, then as a representative and finally as a senator. Ou… https://t.co/ze5joKu0N1— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@Mayor Bill de Blasio)1535244954.0
...especially by his family.
I love you forever - my beloved father @SenJohnMcCain https://t.co/Y50tVQvlVe— Meghan McCain (@Meghan McCain)1535244094.0
My heart is broken. I am so lucky to have lived the adventure of loving this incredible man for 38 years. He passed… https://t.co/nWEaWOoDB1— Cindy McCain (@Cindy McCain)1535244466.0
Rest in peace, Senator McCain. Your legacy lives on.