Michelle and I were saddened today to hear about the Statement of Senator Bob Dole. Senator Dole and I differed on policy, and I didn’t serve with him in the Senate. But I did get to know him over the years, and for that I will always be grateful.

Senator Dole was a war hero:

A political leader, and a statesman — Statement with a career and demeanor harkening back to a day when members of the Greatest Generation abided by a certain code, putting country over party. His sharp wit was matched only by his integrity, and he lived his life in a way that made it clear just how proud he was to be an American, and how committed he was to making this country everything he knew it could be.

Our thoughts are with Elizabeth — who has lived her own remarkable life of service — and all those who knew and loved a true American hero.

A month after being sworn in as President, one of the first conversations I had with anyone outside the White House was with our dear friends, Bob and Elizabeth Dole, at their home in Washington. Bob had recently been diagnosed with lung cancer, and I was were there to offer the same support, love, and encouragement that they showed me and Jill when our son Beau battled cancer, and that the Doles have shown us over the half century we’ve been friends.

Like all Statement true friendships:

Regardless of how much time has passed, we picked up right where we left off, as though it were only yesterday that we were sharing a laugh in the Senate dining room or debating the great issues of the day, often against each other, on the Senate floor. I saw in his eyes the same light, bravery, and determination I’ve seen so many times before.

In the Senate, though we often disagreed, he never hesitated to work with me or other Democrats when it mattered most. He and Ted Kennedy came together to turn Bob’s lifelong cause into the Americans with Disabilities Act —Statement granting tens of millions of Americans lives of greater dignity. On the Social Security Commission, he led a bipartisan effort with Pat Moynihan to ensure that every American could grow old with their basic dignity intact. When he managed the bill to create a federal holiday in the name of Martin Luther King, Jr. — a bill that many in his own caucus opposed — I will never forget Statement what he said to our colleagues: “No first-class democracy can treat.

People like second-class Statement:

Another bipartisan effort, the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program, provided school meals and food for nursing mothers and young children. It saved the lives of countless young people who would otherwise have died in infancy — and brought dignity to tens of millions of families at home and abroad. This work, for Bob, was about more than passing laws. It was written on his heart Statement.

Bob was an American statesman like few in our history. A war hero and among the greatest of the Greatest Generation. And to me, he was also a friend whom I could look to for trusted guidance, or a humorous line at just the right moment to settle frayed nerves. I will miss my friend. But I am grateful for the times we share. And for the friendship Jill and I and our family create with Liddy and the entire Dole family.

Bob was a man to be admired by Americans. He had an unerring sense of integrity and honor. May God bless him, and may our nation draw upon his legacy of decency, dignity, good humor, and patriotism for all time.

“On Dec. 4, 2018, President George H. W. Bush lay in state in the United States Capitol. Among the mourners was Senator Bob Dole.
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In a moment that will live forever in our national memory, the 95-year-old rose from his wheelchair and with his left arm – the only arm his heroism in World War II allowed him to use – saluted his fellow patriot.

Statement Today we salute:

Senator Bob Dole and celebrate the courage, determination. Devotion to duty he demonstrated not just on that unforgettable day. But throughout his remarkable life. At the same time, I offer my deepest condolences to Senator Elizabeth Dole.

Senator Dole defined the term ‘The Greatest Generation. Growing up in Russell, Kansas, during the Great Depression. He came from a family that was poor in material possessions but rich in the values of integrity, decency, hard work, and service to others.

“In 1942, with America plunged into war, Bob Dole enlisted in the United States Army and became a Second Lieutenant in the legendary 10th Mountain Division. On April 14, 1945, while engage in combat in Italy, he was grievously want while saving a comrade. His recovery was painfully slow – more than three years. Left him with an outlook on life that still inspires us. Rather than dwell on what he had lost. He said later. He made up his mind to ‘focus on what I had left and what I could do with it.’

When I first came to the Statement in 1997:

I had the opportunity to hear a speech given by Senator Dole, which made an indelible impression. Bearing the wounds of his courageous service in World War II. For more than a half-century, he said this. We need to make our deepest commitments clear. That aging should not mean poverty. That disabilities should not mean indignity. That diversity should not mean discrimination.’

“Working together, Bob and Elizabeth Dole turned those words into action. The Elizabeth Dole Foundation they have led provides crucial support to both our wounded warriors and their family caregivers.

During his 35 years in Congress, including 27 in the Senate. Throughout his 1996 presidential campaign. Senator Dole demonstrated time and again his love of our country. His devotion to its highest ideals. His sacrifice in war and his long and difficult recovery earned him the right to a life of personal pursuits. Instead he chose to continue to serve his country.

Senator Dole’s Republican:

Elected him Leader in 1985, including two stints as Majority Leader, until he resigned to run for President in 1996. His record as the second-longest serving. Republican Leader in the history of the Senate demonstrates the respect he earned from his side of the aisle. But it was his willingness – indeed, his commitment – to reach across. The aisle that produced such landmark achievements as saving Social Security. Strengthening America’s hunger and nutrition programs. Reforming the tax code to better reward hard work and investment. Senator Dole’s bipartisan spirit is a vital part of his enduring legacy of leadership.

“For his heroism in Italy, Bob Dole received two Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star. For his service to our nation, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal, among many other accolades.

I am certain, however, that the honor he most cherished is the affection and respect. He earned from the American people. It is with affection, respect, and a heavy heart that. I join men and women throughout our nation in saluting a true hero, Senator Bob Dole.
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