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Sen. McCain, former Rep. Udall honored with plaques at Grand Canyon

((Flickr Photo/National Park Service)

PHOENIX — U.S. Sen. John McCain and former U.S. Rep. Morris Udall were honored at the Grand Canyon National Park this week for their decades of service for Arizona.

Cindy McCain and Udall’s nephew and New Mexico Sen. Tom Udall spoke on behalf of the two politicians and talked about the friendship between them despite ideological differences, Grand Canyon News reported.

“Mo Udall taught John McCain the value of consensus and bipartisanship and, in turn, John had the guts to buck his own party,” the New Mexico legislator said. 

At the event, the Grand Canyon Association unveiled a commemorative plaque honoring both men for their dedication to protecting the state’s land.

“Mo’s faith and pursuit of cooperation and consensus enabled us to enact landmark legislation placing several million acres of pristine Arizona lands into the wilderness preservation system,” McCain said in a statement.

“Throughout my career, I’ve tried not to forget Mo’s example of friendship, comedy and commitment to conservation, especially when it comes to preserving Arizona, the land he loved,” he said.

Udall served in Congress for 30 years until he resigned in 1991, after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. He died in 1998.

McCain has been serving the state since 1983. He is currently in Arizona receiving treatment for an aggressive type of brain cancer that was discovered in July.