The stubborn old men of “Alcatraz” had come to bid farewell to the legendary occupant of Cell No. 10.
Along with family and friends, the survivors of the notorious North Vietnamese prison gathered Tuesday at Arlington National Cemetery to say goodbye to fellow POW, former U.S. senator and retired Navy rear admiral Jeremiah A. Denton Jr.
They stood beneath the six chandeliers in Fort Myer’s Old Post Chapel on a humid morning and read aloud parts of the 27th Psalm, “Hear, O Lord, hear the sound of my call, have pity on me, and answer me .?.?.”
They followed the horse-drawn caisson bearing their comrade’s body and stood by as Navy jets roared overhead and the smell of the smoke from the rifle salute drifted on the breeze.
The four — Bob Shumaker, Rep. Sam Johnson (R-Tex), Jim Mulligan and George Coker — were among the scores of people attending the burial of Denton, who had survived nearly eight years of brutal captivity in North Vietnamese prisons during the Vietnam War.
Apparently the heroic John McCain didn’t show up. Maybe he’s still capable of the tiniest bit of shame.