U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., gave a speech last week that deserves to be heard or read by every American. McCain talked about what it means to be American, with all of its blessings and its obligations, and what America means to the world.

McCain was being honored with the Liberty Medaof the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia for his efforts to “secure the blessings of liberty to people around the globe.”

Press coverage of the event focused on McCain’s veiled shot at the Trump administration: “To fear the world we have organized and led for three-quarters of a century, to abandon the ideals we have advanced around the globe, to refuse the obligations of international leadership and our duty to remain ‘the last best hope of earth’ for the sake of some half-baked, spurious nationalism cooked up by people who would rather find scapegoats than solve problems is as unpatriotic as an attachment to any other tired dogma of the past that Americans consigned to the ash heap of history.”

Context is as important as content. McCain, 81, has been given what he calls a “very poor prognosis” for an aggressive brain cancer. He appears to be writing the last chapter of an extraordinary life.

He has gone from Naval Academy wild man to heroic prisoner of war to maverick Republican senator to conventional Republican nominee for president who, despite his “Country First” slogan, chose the spectacularly unqualified Sarah Palin as his running mate.

John McCain needs no lecturing on patriotism or duty. But his country still needs him.