Remembering Bob Dole: Compilation of coverage as nation honors ‘Kansas’ favorite son’
WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - The news of Senator Bob Dole’s death Sunday, Dec. 5, drew responses from across Kansas, the United States and the globe. From humble beginnings in Russell, Kansas, Dole became a decorated hero from his service in World War II and transitioned into a political career in which he rose to positions of leadership in the Republican party and helped to pass legislation that directly and indirectly improved the lives of millions of Americans.
As services and public displays continue in Kansas through Saturday, here’s a snippet of coverage this week, looking back on Senator Dole’s life and service and looking ahead to how that service will continue to impact his country.
-- Sunday brought the news of Dole’s death, about nine months after it was revealed that he was battling Stage 4 lung cancer. “Senator Robert Joseph Dole died early this morning in his sleep,” a statement from the Elizabeth Dole Foundation read. “At his death, at age 98, he had served the United States of America faithfully for 79 years.”
-- Following the announcement that Senator Dole would lie in state later in the week in the Capitol Rotunda in Washington, D.C., on Monday night, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed a resolution honoring him.
-- Senator Dole was honored Thursday, lying in state at the U.S. Capitol. President Joe Biden and others gathered to pay tribute to the man Biden called a “giant of our history.”
-- As national leaders paid their respects to Senator Dole, Eyewitness News spoke with a man who worked closely with him for more than a decade. Walter Riker spent more than a dozen years working as Dole’s press secretary.
-- During his decade’s-long career that included 35 years representing Kansas in Congress, Dole is remembered for many accomplishments, some only possible through bipartisanship. Working across the aisle, Dole helped to lead the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act and advocated for fellow veterans, especially those from Kansas, his home state.
-- In the later years of Dole’s life, it was common to see him stationed at the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C., which he helped create. He was there to greet veterans, including those from his home state through the Kansas Honor Flight program.
-- After being honored in the nation’s capital, Bob Dole made his final trip back to Kansas. A plane carrying his casket landed in Salina Friday evening and made its way to Dole’s home town of Russell where a public viewing and service is planned for Saturday. Dole will then be taken to Topeka to be honored by state leaders.
Eyewitness News’ coverage will continue through the weekend ahead of Senator Dole’s return to the nation’s capital and his final rest.
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