Bob Dole paid tribute to silences that would ‘escape partisan balloons’

A funeral service for former US Senator and presidential candidate Bob Dole was held Friday at Washington National Cathedral, where friends and former political colleagues honored the World War veteran. War II, with a former Senator saying that Dole’s sarcastic sense of humor was used as a weapon to “get the air out of partisan balloons.”

Dole, a World War II veteran and former state representative in Kansas before serving in the United States House of Representatives and Senate for 36 years aggregating and running multiple presidential and vice presidential campaigns, passed away at the age of 98 on Sunday.

Dozens of current and former leaders across political fields like former presidents Bill Clinton, Members of the Conference, three vice presidents and several Cabinet officials attended the ceremony including the President’s speech Joe Biden, who has honored the man he calls a friend for more than 50 years.

“He can be partisan, and that’s okay,” Biden said. “Americans have been partisan since Jefferson and Hamilton joined George WashingtonCabinet. But like them, Bob Dole was a patriot. “

Former Republican Kansas Senator Pat Roberts said that Dole’s sarcastic, curt humor was an effective political tool to blow away the “partisan atmosphere”.

After the church service, Dole’s coffin was taken to the World War II memorial, which opened to the public at the National Mall in 2004, and Roberts said it might not have existed without Dole. , who spent years campaigning for the monument’s construction.

Roberts recalled the times he met Dole at the memorial on Saturday morning, being there to talk to men who served in the same war he did, many of whom were present at the memorial, especially especially in the trips that Dole often organizes.

Dole’s body was laid to rest in the Capitol building on Thursday and there will be additional memorials in his home state and hometown of Russell, Kansas, this weekend before being buried in the Cemetery. Arlington National Page.

Funeral of Bob Dole, Joe Biden, Washington Church
President Joe Biden arrives to speak at the funeral of former Senator Bob Dole of Kansas at Washington National Cathedral, December 10, 2021, in Washington.
Jacquelyn Martin / Associated Press

Dole was honored Friday as top leaders from both parties praised a longtime Kansas senator’s ability to practice politics without compromising his courtesy.

Demonstrating a rare bipartisanship in modern government, incumbent and incumbent politicians came together to pay tribute to Dole’s difficult rise from wounded veteran to candidate. President three times, unsuccessfully.

“There’s something connecting past and present, wartime and peace, then and now,” said Biden, who touched Dole’s coffin before speaking to the service. “The courage, courage, kindness, and grace of Second Lieutenant Bob Dole, who became Congressman Dole, Senator Dole, statesman, husband, father, friend, colleague and — a word often overused, but not here — a true hero.”

Besides his sharp, often sarcastic tongue, among Dole’s most famous traits are pragmatism and a self-deprecating wit – representing the sense of compromise of a bygone era.

While calling him “a giant of our time and of all times,” Biden said Dole late in life worried about American democracy being threatened by bitter political battles and saved his life. Noting that infighting from both sides is “increasingly unacceptable.”

Still, Democratic Party member and Republican Party member came together to praise Dole’s ability to put country and public service above ideology as an important theme.

Biden offers vivid, realistic details in his eulogy, talking about how Dole was born a Dust Bowl kid, volunteered as a young adult for military service, and how he filmed his life. back the “painful” years to recover from the wound.

“My God, what courage did Bob Dole do,” the president said.

Dole’s daughter, Robin, read a letter her father wrote to his staff, in which he said “I believe in the future of the United States of America.”

“Bob Dole understands that it is not enough recognition that this Greatest Generation deserves,” said Roberts. “It’s reflection and innovation, and it’s for the Greatest Generation to inspire the next.”

Dole is a longtime supporter of the Honor Flight Network, which arranges for veterans to come to Washington to see memorials dedicated to their service.

Former Democratic Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle said Dole once told him he was thinking about being buried at a World War II memorial. Daschle also said Dole’s sense of duty extends beyond that of veterans, even when he left the presidential campaign to attend the 1996 graduation party of a girl who was paralyzed in an accident. car accident.

Addressing the crowd at the memorial, actor Tom Hanks asked, “How many structures in this city exist because of the efforts of one person?”

Hanks, who starred in the World War II movie Saving Private Ryan, said: “It was Bob Dole who built this memorial.

Dole was paralyzed, almost fatal injuries during the Second World War. General Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, recounted that, after Dole was hit during fighting in the Italian mountains in 1945, he was dragged behind a wall by a soldier and “laid there, face down in the dirt Don’t know if he will live or die Unable to move as the battle raged around him And he lay there for 10 hours straight before the paramedics could approach him.”

“He served the military. He served the state of Kansas. He served his political party. But above all, he served his country and he served his fellow Americans.” Milley said. “Bob Dole always, always puts his country first.”

The ceremony ended with Milley escorting Dole’s wife, former North Carolina Senator Elizabeth Dole, as she and Robin touched a wreath in his honor, then bowed in prayer as the knock sounded.

Dole served as a Kansas state legislator before running for Congress in 1960, joining the House of Representatives for eight years then winning a Senate seat.

Dole in his early career was considered a “human-like man” by the GOP. He was an advisor to Richard Nixon and was chairman of the Republican National Committee during the Watergate era. Over the course of her Senate career, however, Dole increasingly saw the value of reaching across the aisle and securing her more enduring accomplishments.

Those include the Americans with Disabilities Act which to this day guarantees a degree of accessibility as a civil right. Dole also fights to defend Social Security benefits for older Americans and advocates for civil rights — even if such actions are not always politically common to all. people.

“In the face of opposition from many in his party and some of mine, he administered a bill to create a federal holiday in the name of Martin Luther King, Jr.,” Biden said. “Bob Dole did it.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Funeral of Bob Dole, Joe Biden, Washington Church
A military honor guard carries the casket of the late Senator Robert Dole as he concludes his funeral service at Washington National Cathedral Friday in Washington, DC. Dole, a seriously wounded World War II veteran, was a Republican Senator from Kansas from 1969 to 1996. He ran for president three times and became the Republican nominee for president. system in 1996.
Alex Wong / Getty Images Bob Dole paid tribute to silences that would ‘escape partisan balloons’

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