WASHINGTON, D.C. (KSNW) – Congressional leaders announced that The Honorable Robert J. Dole will lie in state in the United States Capitol Rotunda on Thursday, December 9. A formal arrival and departure ceremony will be held on Thursday.
Dole died Sunday morning at the age of 98. During his lifetime, the Kansas native served with distinction in the United States Army during World War II and was awarded two Purple Hearts for his valor.
He then represented the people of Kansas for four terms in the U.S. House and more than four terms in the U.S. Senate, where he led the Senate Republican Conference for more than a decade. Dole was a leading advocate for service members, veterans and military families and inspired millions with his leadership on behalf of Americans with disabilities.
Dole will be only the seventh person to lie in state in the Capitol Rotunda in the past three decades. It is a tribute given to the nation’s most distinguished government and military leaders. The others who have lain in state in the past 30 years are Presidents Ronald Reagan, Gerald Ford, and George H.W. Bush, Senators John McCain and Daniel Inouye, and, most recently, Representative John Lewis.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Representative Elijah Cummings also have lain in state, but not in the Capitol Rotunda. Instead, it was in National Statuary Hall.
Distinguished private citizens “lie in honor.” Those who have lain in honor in the Capitol Rotunda include the two U.S. Capitol Police officers who died due to the Capitol uprising, The Reverend Billy Graham and civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks.
“Whatever their politics, anyone who saw Bob Dole in action had to admire his character and his profound patriotism,” said Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell. “Those of us who were lucky to know Bob well ourselves admired him even more. A bright light of patriotic good cheer burned all the way from Bob’s teenage combat heroics through his whole career in Washington and through the years since. We look forward to honoring his life and legacy at the Capitol.”
“Senator Dole exemplified the greatest generation, and while I never had the pleasure of serving in the Senate with him, his reputation and his achievements, and most of all his character preceded him,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. “I always admired his steadfast advocacy for veterans and for Americans with disabilities and his love for his country. Rest in peace, Senator Dole.”
“May it be a comfort to his loving wife, his dear daughter and all his loved ones that a grateful nation joins them in mourning during this sad time,” said Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the ceremony will only be open to invited guests. Additional details will be announced at a later date.