Washington, DC—Below is a statement by U.S. Conference of Mayors President and Columbia (SC) Mayor Steve Benjamin on Senator John McCain’s passing:

“I was watching a movie about superheroes with my young daughters this evening when I learned that America had lost a real life hero. I had the opportunity to explain to them in the moment that Senator John McCain was indeed a hero and an authentic American patriot.

On every occasion that he addressed America’s mayors — and there were many, he received from Democratic, Republican and Independent mayors a standing ovation upon entering the room.

He was a Senator that put America first.  And putting America first for him meant to join with the nation’s mayors and others in a bipartisan way to get things done for our nation.  We are thankful at this time for our joint efforts to pass true comprehensive immigration reform and pray that those labors were not in vain.

From The United States Conference of Mayors, we salute John McCain, for his heroic suffering from torture and imprisonment in Vietnam and for his career of public service to Arizona and to our nation.

May God comfort the McCain family and State of Arizona for their loss at this time.

And as for the nation, may his life and the way he lived it, be a catalyst for all of us to work together in the days ahead for the common good of all the people of the United States of America.”