Kansas, nation react to death of Bob Dole

Remembering Bob Dole
Published: Dec. 5, 2021 at 3:24 PM CST
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Politicians and luminaries in the state and nationwide have begun to honor the memory of late U.S. Senator Bob Dole of Russell, Kan., who died Sunday morning at 98.

U.S. Senators Roger Marshall and Jerry Moran, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, president Joe Biden and former president Barack Obama are among those who have released statements regarding Dole’s death.

“Bob Dole was a man to be admired by Americans,” president Biden wrote on Twitter. “He had an unerring sense of integrity and honor. May God bless him, and may our nation draw upon his legacy of decency, dignity, good humor, and patriotism for all time.”

“Bob’s lifetime of service was rooted in a simple mission: looking out for his neighbors, a portion of McConnell’s statement read. “At first that meant serving his customers at a soda fountain in Russell, Kansas. Then it meant heroic, decorated service with the Army’s 10th Mountain Division in World War II; brutal fighting from which Bob barely made it home.”

The two U.S. Senators representing Kansas, Marshall and Moran, also released statements.

“Senator Bob Dole will be remembered as a true American hero and an exemplary statesman – a man who chose what was right over what was convenient,” Moran wrote. “Whether it was on the battlefield, in the halls of Congress, or in his everyday life, Senator Dole’s passion and dedication to his fellow Kansan and to his country was a steady reminder that a single person can make a difference and change the world.”

Marshall echoed those sentiments.

“Today, Kansas and our entire nation are heartbroken having lost a giant with the passing of Senator Bob Dole,” he wrote. “As one of the heroes from our greatest generation, you would be hard-pressed to find someone with a bigger heart and more resilient than Senator Dole. He was an American hero, a statesman of the highest order, and one of the greatest legislators of all time.”

The members of the Kansas Congressional Deligation also remembering Dole Sunday.

Kansas Governor Laura Kelly also issued a statement.

“In public office, Senator Dole was always a voice for Kansas,” Kelly wrote. “However, his work in the Senate had a profound impact on all Americans.”

Barack Obama shared his admiration of Dole and noted how Dole worked across party lines in the Senate for policies he believed would be beneficial to all Americans.

“Senator Bob Dole was a war hero, a political leader, and a statesman—with a career and demeanor harkening back to a day when members of the Greatest Generation abided by a certain code, putting country over party,” Obama wrote. “Our thoughts are with Elizabeth and the Dole family.”

The Robert J. Dole Institute of Policy at the University of Kansas is also remembering Senator Dole.

Director Audrey Coleman said, “When I knew him in the last decade of his life, Senator Dole was both a towering figure and a bridge to our nation’s past, who urged Americans to work together for a better future. It was an honor to serve as his archivist and it’s a privilege to steward his historical legacy in perpetuity.”

Former President George W. Bush, who endorsed Dole in Dole’s run for president in 1996 when Bush was governor of Texas, noted Dole’s lengths to defend American rights.

“He defended them in uniform during World War II,” Bush said. “He advanced them in the United States Senate. And he lived them out as a father, husband and friend. I will always remember Bob’s salute to my late dad at the Capitol, and now we Bushes salute Bob and give thanks for his life of principled service.”

Former President Donald Trump, endorsed by Dole in July when Dole said, “I’m a Trumper,” shared his appreciation.

“Bob Dole was an American war hero and true patriot for our Nation,” Trump wrote. “He served the great state of Kansas with honor and the Republican party was made stronger by his service. Our nation mourns his passing, and our prayers are with (wife) Elizabeth and his wonderful family.”

Bill Clinton, whom Dole defeated to earn a second presidential term in 1996, commended Dole for his life of public service.

“Bob Dole dedicated his entire life to serving the American people, from his heroism in World War II to the 35 years he spent in Congress,” Clinton wrote. “After all he gave in the war, he didn’t have to give more. But he did. His example should inspire people today and for generations to come.”

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