Trần Trọng Duyệt is the retired colonel who ran the Hỏa Lò Prison that John McCain was held in for 5 1/2 years.
After Senator McCain's passing, Duyet spoke out about his fondness for the American hero.
"I had a lot of time meeting him when he was kept in the prison.
"At that time I liked him personally for his toughness and strong stance. Later on, when he became a US Senator, he and Senator John Kerry greatly contributed to promote Việt Nam-US relations so I was very fond of him.
"When I learnt about his death early this morning, I feel very sad. I would like to send condolences to his family. I think it's the same feeling for all Vietnamese people as he has greatly contributed to the development of Việt Nam - US relations."
McCain was an integral player in improving and normalizing relations between the U.S and Vietnam.
He promoted humanitarian issues, such as removing unexploded devices left by the war, and, in 1994, the economic sanction against Vietnam was lifted thanks to a bill sponsored by himself and John Kerry.
Hà Kim Ngọc, the U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam, called McCain a "symbol of the Vietnam-U.S. reconciliation process."
Twitter feels that Duyet's condolences are probably the strongest evidence of McCain's character.
@chrizap Another time... another Era.... but when your enemy of that time said it, it;s a big compliment— Theo Kuypers (@Theo Kuypers) 1535317039.0
John McCain is someone I wish had known personally. Even Ret. Col. Tran Trong Duyet, the man who operated the tortu… https://t.co/Mr3ZzIndtk— Kurt Manwaring (@Kurt Manwaring) 1535373115.0
@kathygriffin Even John McCain's jailer during the Vietnam War, Tran Trong Duyet, 85, said he was "saddened" by his… https://t.co/m4h8TQAF4I— Félix dy Catze (@Félix dy Catze) 1535320016.0
@chrizap 1/ Think abt the magnanimity, immense forgiveness, boundless generosity of spirit, & intellectual integrit… https://t.co/00YuF7viye— Renee (@Renee) 1535317210.0
Others have noted the juxtaposition of McCain's captor's sentiments and the president's.
@Slate @gtconway3d .@realDonaldTrump Mr. Trump, how much smaller and vindictive can you look? November is near. We… https://t.co/DetjjDbJWa— Jude Earl (@Jude Earl) 1535378474.0
@chrizap @lauferlaw When your enemy can hold you in high account and see your virtues but your President can't.— Old Man Emu (@Old Man Emu) 1535326167.0
@realDonaldTrump It is a sad commentary on what kind of man you are when Senator McCain’s former captor, Col. Trần… https://t.co/qGgpYxpDfI— Mark Moore (@Mark Moore) 1535335854.0
Col. Trần Trọng Duyệt & John McCain were enemies in war but Colonel Tran overcame that to respect & admire McCain.… https://t.co/m7tWAvjTrr— Bill Both (@Bill Both) 1535320244.0
McCain was a true American hero and should be remembered as such.