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Former Sen. Bob Dole honored at Kansas State Capitol

Posted at 4:47 PM, Dec 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-11 23:47:24-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Former Sen. Bob Dole, who represented Kansas in the U.S. Senate from 1969 to 1996, was honored Saturday at the Kansas State Capitol.

The Washburn University Choir and Washburn University Singers began the program as the statehouse rotunda filled with friends, family, colleagues and constituents before the arrival of Dole's casket.

Senate Chaplain Rear Admiral Barry C. Black gave the invocation, describing Dole as a "leader, a son, a husband, a father and a friend." 

Opening remarks from Audrey Coleman, director of the Dole Institute of Politics, touched on Dole's legacy of education and inspiration through the institute.

"So much in his own right, Senator Dole supported, mentored and inspired generations of public servants legislators here in Kansas, across the nation and, indeed, around the world," Coleman said.

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly, Sen. Roger Marshall and Sen. Jerry Moran spoke following their remarks earlier in the day during services in Dole's hometown of Russell, Kansas.

Kelly praised Dole for carrying Kansas close to his heart throughout his national and international endeavors.

"From a three-room house on Maple (in Russell, Kansas,) through his success as an athlete, through being left for dead on the battlefield in Europe, through more than three agonizing years of rehabilitation, through the more than 12,000 votes cast in Washington, to his last breath earlier this week, Bob Dole never forgot where he was from," Kelly said.  

She also spoke on his ability to break down the political divide by understanding that "Republicans and Democrats might disagree on a best solution to a problem, [but] they were merely opponents, not enemies."

Moran highlighted Dole's dedication to service — he was critically injured while serving in World War II.

"All of us can say today to Bob Dole and all of those who served, 'Thank you for your service.' We respect you, Bob Dole. We love you," Moran said.

The final speaker Rep. Jim Slattery saluted Dole's patience and wisdom.

"Bob Dole instinctively knew a truth as ancient as the scripture — a house dived cannot stand," Slattery said.  

Dole's casket will be transported back to Washington to be buried following the Kansas memorials.