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Bob Dole will be honored with events in D.C., his hometown, Kansas capital

UPDATED: Wed., Dec. 8, 2021

Associated Press

TOPEKA, Kan.  — Bob Dole will be honored Friday in a private memorial service attended by President Joe Biden as well as a public service at the World War II Memorial in Washington before the casket of the former presidential candidate and decorated soldier travels to Kansas for events in his hometown and the state capital.

Dole’s casket will lie in state Thursday at the U.S. Capitol. Biden will join former presidents, current and former leaders in Congress, friends and the Dole family for the private service Friday morning at Washington National Cathedral, according to the Dole Institute of Politics.

The public event later at the World War II Memorial will include remarks by actor Tom Hanks as well as Mark Milley, the chairman of the U.S. military’s Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Dole died Sunday at the age of 98. He served 36 years in Congress, rising to U.S. Senate majority leader. He was the 1996 Republican nominee for president, losing to incumbent Democrat Bill Clinton.

Dole’s casket is set to arrive Friday evening in Hays, Kansas, and will be received by a state delegation led by Gov. Laura Kelly before it travels to Dole’s hometown of Russell, about 30 miles (48 kilometers) to the east.

A public viewing of Dole’s casket and a memorial service are set for Saturday morning at the St. Mary Queen of Angels Catholic Church in Russell.

A private ceremony will follow at Saturday afternoon at the Statehouse in Topeka, with remarks by Kelly and the state’s two U.S. senators, Roger Marshall and Jerry Moran.

Dole was born and grew up in Russell before being severely wounded in fighting in Italy in 1945 during World War II while charging a German position. He spent three years recovering and never regained the use of his right hand.

He served as the local county attorney, then in the Kansas House, and four terms in the U.S. House representing a western Kansas district. He served more than four terms in the Senate and was majority leader when he left Congress in 1996. He also was the 1976 nominee for vice president on the GOP’s losing ticket with President Gerald Ford.

Dole was known for the caustic wit he turned on others and himself. In Congress, he shaped tax and foreign policy and worked vigorously to help the disabled through the Americans with Disabilities Act that protected against discrimination in employment, education and public services.

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