Former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole was helped out of his wheelchair on Tuesday so that he could give an emotional final salute to the flag covered casket of his friend and fellow World War II veteran former President George H. W. Bush.
Dole arrived on Tuesday afternoon at the Capitol Rotunda to pay his respects along with thousands of other Americans. The former senator is 95 years old and can no longer walk. He was assisted in getting to his feet by an aide. The effort was emotional as he honored the former president who was lying in state until Wednesday morning at 7am.
The senator from Kansas and the 1996 Republican presidential nominee solemnly gave a salute to the former president before being helped back into his chair.
Bush spokesperson Jim McGrath recounted the touching moment in a tweet as “a last, powerful gesture of respect from one member of the Greatest Generation, @SenatorDole, to another.”
Many more people then retweeted it.
Dole suffered extensive injuries in World War II and was left with restricted mobility in his right arm and numbness in his left. But that did not stop him from serving his country as a lawmaker. From 1961 to 1969, Dole served in the House of Representatives. From 1969 to 1996, he served as a senator from Kansas.
He then ran for president as the GOP nominee against incumbent Bill Clinton in 1996. He lost to Clinton, receiving just 159 of 538 Electoral College votes. But he received 41 percent of the popular vote.
In 1997, Clinton awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Dole and George H.W. Bush were political rivals in the late 1980s, but the two public servants shared a mutual respect and later became friends.
“Bob Dole has inspired me,” said former President George H.W. Bush.
— 12NewsNow (@12NewsNow) December 4, 2018