By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Sen. John McCain accepted the Constitution Center’s prestigious Liberty Medal, Monday night, with a speech that was both fiery and emotional.

The ceremony rose to the challenge of capturing the enormous breadth of McCain’s life of service, from a painful recounting of his captivity in Vietnam, to his recent vote to defeat the repeal of the Affordable Care Act.

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The senator looked thin but healthy, a sweater vest under his suit jacket, against the chilly evening, and spoke forcefully about U.S. responsibility.

“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,” he said.

At other times, his voice broke in emotion, as when he proclaimed himself, “the luckiest guy in the world.”