Former Senator Bob Dole was honored by his friends, family, and former colleagues during a funeral at Washington National Cathedral on Friday (December 10). Dole died in his sleep over the weekend at the age of 89.
President Joe Biden eulogized the former Senate Majority Leader and recalled how he was injured while fighting in Italy during World War II.
"Nearly eight decades on, we've gathered here in a world far different from the mountainous battlefield in 1945. But there's something that connects that past and present, wartime and peace, then and now," Biden said. "The courage, the grit, the goodness, and the grace of a 2nd lieutenant named Bob Dole, who became congressman Dole, senator Dole, statesman, husband, father, friend, colleague, and a word that's often overused but not here, a genuine hero."
Biden recalled the 25 years they spent together in the Senate on opposite sides of the aisle.
"We disagreed, but we were never disagreeable with one another. Not one time that I can think of," Biden said.
"I found Bob to be a man of principle, pragmatism, and enormous integrity. He came into the arena with certain guiding principles," he continued. "To begin with, devotion to country, to fair play, to decency, to dignity, to honor, to literally attempting to find the common good."
Robin Dole fondly remembered the hours she spent talking with her father.
"I've felt so fortunate that I was able to spend hundreds of hours with my dad and talk to him almost every single night on the phone. We talked about everything under the sun. He told me things I never knew. He asked about my life, about my friends' lives," she said.
She described him as "the most generous person" she knew and as somebody who "cared more about other than he did himself."
"He told me he set a personal goal to help at least one person every day of his life. Then he said, 'I'm not sure I've been able to meet my goal.' I said, 'Dad, you've got to be kidding. Some days you help one person, and other days you help 40,000 people. I think you've met and exceeded your goal,'" she said. "There is no one he helped more than me. He's always been there for me, through thick and through thin. He always had my back, even when I made mistakes. And believe me, I made quite a few. He believes in giving second chances, and I know that firsthand. He was my rock."
After the funeral, Dole's casket was transported to the World War II Memorial, where a ceremony will be held. After the ceremony, his body will then be flown to Kansas for funeral services in Topeka and his hometown of Russell.