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
@Slate @gtconway3d I think it's respect. From one military man to another. Respect for how he served and stayed wit… https://t.co/fITgrD20l2— Robyn Gowenlock (@Robyn Gowenlock)1535378520.0
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 (@Félix)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.— Brad (@Brad)1535326167.0
@Slate @gtconway3d @realDonaldTrump our enemies have more honor and respect than you. How does it feel to be the smallest man in the world?— Sir Grime (@Sir Grime)1535378491.0
@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
The guy who ran the Hanoi Hilton has a greater capacity for empathy than the asshole-in-chief. https://t.co/P3fpF6cZcN— OKOkayWhatsNext (@OKOkayWhatsNext)1535378623.0
@Slate @gtconway3d Wow. More compassion from his captor than from the American President!— Bradley A. Esparza (@Bradley A. Esparza)1535378269.0
@Slate @gtconway3d NOW THIS IS WHAT RESPECT LOOKS LIKE #45— Armymom (@Armymom)1535378438.0
McCain was a true American hero and should be remembered as such.