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Former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole will lie in state in the rotunda of the U.S. Capitol later this week, congressional leadership said Monday.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., issued a joint statement announcing that the late senator and presidential candidate will lie in state Thursday and be honored with a formal arrival and departure ceremony.
Sen. Bob Dole won the Republican nomination for president in 1996 but lost the election to Bill Clinton. (Wally McNamee/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)
“Sen. Dole was an extraordinary patriot, who devoted his entire life to serving our nation with dignity and integrity,” said Pelosi. “Putting his life on the line to defend our nation, he was awarded two Purple Hearts for his valor and sacrifice on the battlefield – and, when he came home, served as an inspiration to millions of Americans living with disabilities.
“From the well of the House to the floor of the Senate, as a presidential candidate and as an elder statesman, he was one of the foremost advocates for our service members, veterans and military families. May it be a comfort to his loving wife, his dear daughter and all his loved ones that a grateful nation joins them in mourning during this sad time.”
“Sen. Dole exemplified the greatest generation, and while I never had the pleasure of serving in the Senate with him, his reputation and his achievements, and most of all his character, preceded him,” said Schumer. “I always admired his steadfast advocacy for veterans and for Americans with disabilities and his love for his country. Rest in peace, Sen. Dole.”
Because of COVID-19, only invited guests will be permitted to attend the ceremony.
Forty people have lain in the U.S. Capitol since 1852.
President Gerald Ford, first lady Betty Ford, Vice President Nelson Rockefeller, and vice presidential candidate Bob Dole celebrate at the Republican National Convention, Kansas City, Missouri, August 1976. REUTERS/John T. Bledsoe/U.S. News & World Report Magazine Photograph Collection/Library of Congress/Handout
Dole, the former Kansas senator, was a World War II veteran who lost the use of his right arm on the battlefield in Italy. As former national chairman of the World War II Memorial Commission, he helped raise nearly $200 million for a WWII memorial on the National Mall, which was completed in 2004.
Dole was the Republican Party’s 1996 presidential nominee and had a political career spanning nearly four decades. Former President Bill Clinton presented Dole with the Presidential Medal of Freedom months after winning the election against him.
Fox News’ Jessica Chasmar contributed to this report.