Longtime U.S. Senator from Virginia, John Warner, has died at the age of 94.
From his enlistment in the Navy at age 17, to his service with the Marines in the Korean war, to his time as Secretary of the Navy, to his five terms in the United States Senate, John Warner lived an extraordinary life of service and accomplishment.
Today, Gov. Ralph Northam released the following statement on the passing of former U.S. Senator John Warner:
“Virginia, and America, have lost a giant.
As a sailor, a senator, a statesman, and a gentleman, former U.S. Senator John Warner spent his life in public service. A World War II veteran of the Navy, he served as Secretary of the Navy, led the Senate Armed Services Committee, and was a respected voice in Washington on military affairs.
John helped build up his political party and always remained an independent voice. He used that voice in the Senate to forge bipartisan compromise, knowing how and when to reach across the aisle. And he always put Virginia first.
John Warner truly was the best of what public service and elected leadership should be, and his loss leaves a deep void. Pam and I join the Commonwealth in mourning his death. Our prayers for comfort go out to his wife Jeanne, his three children, grandchildren, scores of friends and all those who loved him.”
In honor of Sen. John Warner, Gov. Northam ordered that the Virginia state flag be flown at half-staff over the Virginia Capitol on the day of his funeral.
"I had the privilege of serving alongside John in the Senate for three decades," said President Joe Biden. "The John Warner I knew was guided by two things: his conscience and our Constitution. And, when acting in accordance with both, he neither wavered in his convictions nor was concerned with the consequences."
"From fighting for international rules and norms to help keep the peace among nations, to his principled stances to oppose torture and support our Armed Forces and our national security, I always knew that John’s decisions were guided by his values—even when we disagreed on the policy outcomes. When told that if he voted in a way that was not in line with his party’s position—as he did numerous times on issues of rational gun policy, women’s rights, and judicial nominees—that 'people would say,' his favorite rejoinder was, 'Let ‘em say it.'
"Indeed, that was his response when, in one of the great honors of my career, he crossed party lines to support me in the 2020 election.
"When Senator Warner left the Senate, he asked that the Henry Wadsworth Longfellow poem, O Ship of State be read into the Senate Record.
"In that poem is the stanza:
In spite of rock and tempest’s roar,
In spite of false lights on the shore,
Sail on, nor fear to breast the sea!
Our hearts, our hopes, are all with thee.
"Through his service in uniform and the Senate, John Warner deftly helped guide our ship of state. Today our hearts and prayers are with his family."