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John McCain Praises Kayla Mueller at Arizona Playground Dedication

Image: John McCain Praises Kayla Mueller at Arizona Playground Dedication

Kayla Mueller (via ABC News)

By    |   Saturday, 27 Aug 2016 03:56 PM

Sen. John McCain Saturday memorialized Kayla Mueller, the U.S. aid worker who had been held captive by Islamic State terrorists for 18 months before she was killed by Jordanian airstrikes, as someone who was "moved to sacrifice her own comforts and security to help strangers, to love them."

"The way Kayla chose was the way of love; to love and to be loved," the Arizona Republican said at the opening and dedication of the "Kayla's Hands Playground" at a public park in her hometown of Prescott, Ariz.

"In moments of joy and sorrow, in happiness and suffering, to always, always love," McCain said. "She lived her life for others.

"She used her hands to relieve suffering. She was not just sympathetic to the plight of the less fortunate, she was moved to action."

Mueller, 26, was taken captive with several others by ISIS in August 2013 in Syria after leaving a Doctors Without Borders hospital. A U.S. Special Forces unit tried to free the hostages during the July 4, 2014, weekend, but they had been moved days before.

She was kept as a slave and was repeatedly raped by ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, according to her fellow captives, before she was killed in airstrikes early last year.

In his remarks, McCain — who was held hostage for six years during the Vietnam War — quoted from one of Mueller's letters to her parents and shared insights from her fellow captives.

"'I have been shown in darkness, light, and have learned that even in prison, one can be free,' Kayla wrote her family in an extraordinary testament to her courage and compassion," McCain said.

"Her fellow captives spoke of her as an inspiration, brave and defiant when she was abused and threatened, consoling and selfless to those who shared her suffering.

"'A protective big sister,' one of them recalled," the senator said. "'She never stopped caring for others,' another remembered.

"When her friends escaped, Kayla stayed — knowing that were she to have left with them, their captors would have made a greater effort to recapture them.

"We call people 'hero' too lightly in our culture," McCain said. "Not many have the generosity, the selflessness, the humility to deserve the distinction.

"But Kayla did."

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Sen. John McCain Saturday memorialized Kayla Mueller, the U.S. aid worker who had been held captive by Islamic State terrorists for 18 months before she was killed by Jordanian airstrikes, as someone who was moved to sacrifice her own comforts and security to help...
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2016-56-27
Saturday, 27 Aug 2016 03:56 PM
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