Bob Dole to lie in state at Capitol as nation honors senator


Lowered to half-staff in honor of former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole of Kansas, flags fly in the breeze at sunrise on the National Mall with the U.S. Capitol in the background, Monday, Dec. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/J. David Ake)

WASHINGTON (WPRI/AP) — Sen. Bob Dole’s casket will lie in state in the U.S. Capitol on Thursday as congressional leaders honor the former Republican presidential candidate and World War II veteran who served in Congress for 36 years.

Dole died Sunday at the age of 98. He was a leader known for his caustic wit, which he often turned on himself but didn’t hesitate to turn on others, too. He shaped tax and foreign policy and worked vigorously to help the disabled, enshrining protections against discrimination in employment, education and public services in the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The U.S. Capitol has been considered the most suitable place for the nation to pay final tribute to its most eminent citizens by having their remains lie in state.

In Rhode Island, Gov. Dan McKee has also requested flags fly at half-staff as a sign of respect.

“Bob Dole represented America with great patriotism and love of country, both on the battlefields of World War II and later in the halls of Congress,” McKee said. “He was a hero of the Greatest Generation and a statesman of the highest order. My thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Elizabeth, his daughter, Robin, and the entire Dole family.”

Dole, from Kansas, won the Republican nomination in 1996, but was defeated when President Bill Clinton won a second term. He was also 1976 GOP vice presidential candidate on the losing ticket with President Gerald Ford.

Throughout his political career, he carried the mark of war. Charging a German position in northern Italy in 1945, Dole was hit by a shell fragment that crushed two vertebrae and paralyzed his arms and legs. The young Army platoon leader spent three years recovering in a hospital and never regained use of his right hand.

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