Washington dignitaries gathered Thursday in the U.S. Capitol to pay tribute to Bob Dole, who died Sunday at 98 from lung cancer.
Dole, a Republican senator from Kansas for decades and a presidential candidate in 1996, will lie in state in the capitol dome until Friday. He is the 33rd person to be afforded the honor.
“Robert Joseph Dole belongs here in this place, in this temple to liberty and temple to possibilities. Bob Dole loved this Capitol,” President Joe Biden said during the ceremony.
Dole was severely wounded in World War II. His right hand was rendered useless by a battlefield injury under German gunfire in Italy. He spent years greeting voters and Washington officialdom with his left while he clutched a pen tucked in his right hand to discourage people from a normal handshake.
In political life, Dole was often at odds with more conservative Republicans, but for more than three decades was among the party’s top officials. He was viewed in Washington as a political pragmatist.
Dole opposed many of the Great Society programs of President Lyndon Johnson but supported the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
In the early 1970s, Dole was the party’s national chairman, was the vice presidential running mate to President Gerald Ford in 1976 in his losing bid for a full elected term and held leadership roles in the Senate.
Dole’s funeral Friday will be held at the National Cathedral. It will be a private ceremony and will be livestreamed at the World War II Memorial.
Some information in this report comes from The Associated Press.