Senator Bob Dole’s Outstanding Legacy of Service and Giving

Senator Bob Doles Remarkable Legacy of Service and Giving

When U.S. Sen. Bob Dole, R-Kan., accepted the problem of elevating non-public funds to construct a World Battle II Memorial in Washington, D.C. in 1997, his colleague Sen. Bob Kerrey, D-Neb., requested the query maybe lots of his fellow senators had been pondering.

“Why are you operating round with a tin cup?” he requested. “Why don’t you come to Congress and we are going to applicable the cash?”

Dole detailed his response during testimony earlier than Congress in regards to the development of the memorial: “Properly, our view was that we ought to boost it within the non-public sector, and we ought to depart the cash up right here for veterans’ wants [and] present-day veterans who need assistance. …”

Dole finally succeeded in constructing a memorial to honor his fellow World Battle II veterans, elevating over $200 million for the hassle. Devoted in 2004 by President George W. Bush, the memorial welcomes roughly 5 million folks every year, lots of them World Battle II veterans and their households.

Dole, who was finest generally known as a long-serving Senate Republican chief and 1996 presidential nominee, handed away on Sunday December 5 on the age of 98. He left behind a protracted and noteworthy legacy of service and accomplishment within the U.S. navy, Congress and his philanthropic pursuits.

As a younger service member, Dole served within the U.S. Military’s 10th Mountain Division in Northern Italy as a second lieutenant, sustaining major injuries on April 14, 1945 whereas trying to save lots of a fellow soldier. The incident left him with out the usage of his proper hand and arm for the remainder of his life. Following his damage, Dole famously carried a pen in his proper hand partly to discourage folks from trying to shake it.

Dole later stated his wartime wounds helped him develop his sense of perseverance.

“In moments of self-pity, I noticed myself going by way of life single, promoting pencils on avenue corners and residing off a incapacity pension,” Dole once told The Topeka Capital-Journal.  “(Dr. Hampar Kelikain) was frank to say that it could be as much as me to benefit from what I had. There can be no miracles.”

The plainspoken Kansan overcame his accidents and was elected to the U.S. Home of Representatives in 1960, the place he served for eight years earlier than becoming a member of the Senate. There, he would turn into a towering determine for nearly 30 years, serving as Majority Chief and setting a report because the nation’s longest serving Republican leader.

Throughout that point, Dole constructed a popularity as a tricky negotiator and pragmatic dealmaker with a razor-sharp wit and a willingness to work throughout the aisle. Thrice, he ran for the best workplace within the land, incomes the Republican nomination in 1996.

What’s lesser identified than his political accomplishments, nevertheless, is Dole’s unbelievable physique of labor in philanthropy.

Along with his service as nationwide finance chairman for the World Battle II Memorial marketing campaign, Dole established the Dole Foundation for Employment of People with Disabilities in 1984, which “provided corporations and people with disabilities grants to assist the disabled to turn into energetic, contributing members of society.” He additionally contributed to the founding of the American Association of People with Disabilities, and fought for the rights of the disabled in his legislative work.

On the schooling entrance, then-retired Sen. Dole teamed up with former presidential rival Invoice Clinton to raise $100 million in scholarship funds for kids and spouses who misplaced their family members throughout the 9/11 terror assaults.

He fought for the hungry, serving to reform America’s meals stamp program as a senator, then partnering together with his former colleague Sen. George McGovern, D-S.D., to ascertain the McGovern-Dole Worldwide Meals for Training and Youngster Vitamin Program, which has offered meals for 40 million kids in want.

Dole additionally labored aspect by aspect together with his spouse, former U.S. Labor Secretary and Sen. Elizabeth Dole, as a key advisor to the Elizabeth Dole Foundation, which empowers and helps “the nation’s 5.5 million navy caregivers; the spouses, dad and mom, relations and pals who take care of America’s wounded, in poor health or injured veterans.”

In his ultimate years, one in every of Dole’s favourite actions was to welcome fellow World Battle II veterans to the memorial he helped construct as an envoy for the Nationwide Honor Flight Community. The community has offered journeys to the memorial for about 250,000 veterans and their households since its dedication.

“Since 2006, visiting with Honor Flight veterans on the World Battle II Memorial has been an actual spotlight for me,” stated Dole, who was named chairman of the group’s Ambassadors program in Nov. 2020. “Your entire expertise greeting and thanking these American heroes is a heartwarming one.”

The sensation was mutual.

“He met most of them,” recalled Jeff Miller, co-founder of the Nationwide Honor Flight Community. “Once they noticed Senator Dole they’d gentle up. He didn’t need some group image with 200 veterans. He needed to fulfill each single one in every of them to listen to their story and trade some tales with them. Bob Dole, he simply epitomized that complete technology.”

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