TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNW) — Top lawmakers and friends and family of former Kansas Senator Bob Dole honored him at a ceremony on Saturday.
Following services in his hometown of Russell, a memorial service was held at the Statehouse in Topeka where people gathered to pay their final respects to Kansas’ favorite son.
Kansas Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly led the delegation receiving Dole’s casket. She shared her remarks about his political accomplishments and signature bipartisanship.
“Greatness lies not in what office you hold, but in how honest you are, in how you face adversity and in your willingness to stand fast in hard places,” Kelly said.
Dole’s wife, Elizabeth, and daughter, Robin, were in attendance. Former Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback and U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell were also among the group of guests that joined in the ceremony.
Former colleagues of Dole, including former Kansas U.S. Senators Nancy Kassebaum and Jim Slattery, also shared their memories of working alongside Dole.
“He had courage to do what’s right even if politically unpopular at the time. This was the way Bob Dole led,” Slattery said.
Kassebaum, who served about 18 years with Dole, said that he was truly a man that had compassion for others; something many will remember and admire him for.
“He was always wanting to move forward and keep thinking ahead of things through legislation that could be accomplished that would help others.”
Brownback told Kansas Capitol Bureau that Dole will be remembered as a “great American,” speaking of his service during World War II.
“The thing I remember about Bob Dole is he really had a lot of relationships, and he maintained them after he was in politics,” Brownback said. “He was the iconic figure of that generation.”
Dole has been honored by many Kansans. The American Legion Riders, a group of bikers and veterans, laid flags to commemorate his life, upon his family’s arrival in Salina on Friday. People across the state, and those he spent time with during the war, have also sent their condolences to Dole’s family.
After the service, Dole’s casket and family will return to Washington, D.C. Details of his burial at the Arlington National Cemetery are pending.