Archive for Friday, September 30, 2011

Bob Dole honored with first plaque on the Kansas Walk of Honor

September 30, 2011, 12:23 p.m. Updated September 30, 2011, 2:45 p.m.

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— Bob Dole, who took his Kansas roots to the national political stage, was honored Friday in the shadow of the Statehouse, with the unveiling of the inaugural Kansas Walk of Honor plaque.

Bob Dole

Former U.S. Sen. Bob Dole, R-Kan., on Friday talks about his political life and the current political situation during a ceremony outside the Statehouse honoring Dole with the initial Kansas Walk of Honor plaque. Enlarge video

Former U.S. Sen. Bob Dole listens to speeches on Friday during ceremony unveiling Kansas Walk of Honor plaque in Dole's honor.

Former U.S. Sen. Bob Dole listens to speeches on Friday during ceremony unveiling Kansas Walk of Honor plaque in Dole's honor.

Former U.S. Sen. Bob Dole and his wife Elizabeth, center, listen to speeches Sept. 30. 2011, during a ceremony unveiling Kansas Walk of Honor plaque in Dole's honor. At left is Gov. Sam Brownback and his wife Mary.

Former U.S. Sen. Bob Dole and his wife Elizabeth, center, listen to speeches Sept. 30. 2011, during a ceremony unveiling Kansas Walk of Honor plaque in Dole's honor. At left is Gov. Sam Brownback and his wife Mary.

After the ceremony, Dole sits down and talks with well-wishers.

After the ceremony, Dole sits down and talks with well-wishers.

In typical Dole fashion, the 88-year-old former U.S. senator and presidential candidate quipped, “I don’t deserve it, but I’ll take it.”

During the ceremony, Dole was praised by leaders for his public service, self-sacrifice, honesty and sense of duty.

Gov. Sam Brownback described Dole as a man who “deals from the heart,” and said he will tell youngsters unfamiliar with Dole, “He’s what most Kansans would call a good man. And that’s saying a lot.”

Born in Russell in 1923, Dole was attending Kansas University when he joined the Army during World War II. He was severely wounded, hospitalized for 39 months and received two Purple Hearts and the Bronze Star.

He later served in the U.S. House and as a leader in the Senate. He was the Republican Party nominee for vice president in 1976 and president in 1996. Both campaigns ended in defeat.

During his political career, he became known as an advocate for veterans and people with disabilities.

U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., said Dole’s “fingerprints” were on every major piece of legislation for a generation. Roberts added that Dole helped give “a proper burial” to bills that needed killing.

Dole was often the leader working behind the scenes to get things done without taking the credit, said former Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Richard Myers.

In his speech, Dole thanked the Kansans who elected him and gave him an opportunity to serve.

He reminisced about his short stint in the state Legislature as “the greenest of lawmakers ­— a somewhat banged up 2nd Lieutenant studying law at Washburn and hoping that my hero Dwight Eisenhower could be persuaded to run for president.”

He said when he was young he took inspiration from a song called “You’ll Never Walk Alone.” He added, “My whole life, up to and including today, has been a validation of that song.”

After his speech, Dole spoke briefly with reporters. When asked what his proudest legislative achievement was, he said it was working with Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, a Democrat from New York, on reforming Social Security.

“Compromise is not a bad thing and working across the aisle is not a bad thing,” Dole said.

Asked what advice he would give political leaders today, he said, “They’ve got to be civil to each other. Some of the things they say about each other just don’t belong on the Senate floor. There’s got to be more civility, there’s got to be more trust, and there’s got to be bipartisanship. It takes good, strong leadership to make it work.”

After the speeches and ceremony, a long line of well-wishers greeted Dole and his wife, Elizabeth, also a former U.S. senator. Dole was then headed to Elkhart, Russell and Hutchinson.

The outdoor ceremony was attended by former Dole staffers, Kansas politicians and folks who just wanted to honor Dole.

Sheila and Alan Rice, of Topeka, said Dole was unlike other politicians.

“He represented the public well. He didn’t appear to be on a pedestal, untouchable,” Sheila said.

“He’s truly loved,” said Kelly Wingerson, of Tecumseh. “I get teary-eyed over it.”

Comments

JayhawkFan1985 3 years, 9 months ago

I guess I'm not sure why some other Kansans weren't given this honor before Senator Dole. I agree wholeheartedly he needs to be on the walk, but why wouldn't President Eisenhower, Vice President Curtis, Amelia Earhardt, to name just a very few be given this honor before Senator Dole. I don't get it.

labmonkey 3 years, 9 months ago

Ike wasn't born in Kansas, Amelia Earhardt got lost (the same as any typical female driver), and not too many people outside of Kansas even know of Curtis, because really, who remembers VP's anyway?

I will go back to my non-troll ways now....

scottr10 3 years, 9 months ago

Jayhawk Fan - They will be honored, one would guess, but he's alive.

scottr10 3 years, 9 months ago

Jayhawk Fan - They will be honored, one would guess, but he's alive.

Abdu Omar 3 years, 9 months ago

It is really ironic that in the photo above, Senator Dole is with Govenor Brownie who is as opposite in personality and ability as Dole. They shouldn't be sharing the same air. I respect Dole very much as he gave to the American People just much as Brownback is taking from them. I will hopefully see the day when great men, all, get their due. This Brownback isn't a great man but he is about to get his due.

kansanjayhawk 3 years, 9 months ago

I disagree with you! Brownback is also a great man--remember both Dole and Brownback represented traditional family values and stood in favor of life-- Dole in fact campaigned in one of his closest contests against Bill Roy a Topeka doctor who had been involved in abortion decisions--against abortion. Brownback is trying to get Kansas back on the road to healing after many years of being taken advantage of by a liberal Democrat in the governor's mansion.

tomatogrower 3 years, 9 months ago

"U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., said Dole’s “fingerprints” were on every major piece of legislation for a generation. Roberts added that Dole helped give “a proper burial” to bills that needed killing."

Dole - Asked what advice he would give political leaders today, he said, “They’ve got to be civil to each other. Some of the things they say about each other just don’t belong on the Senate floor. There’s got to be more civility, there’s got to be more trust, and there’s got to be bipartisanship. It takes good, strong leadership to make it work.”

No, Pat Roberts, Dole did not go around killing bills. He went around working with his fellow senators to solve problems. That's why he is a leader and you aren't. Perfect illustration of what has happened to the Republican party. Dole would be labeled a RINO nowadays.

kansanjayhawk 3 years, 9 months ago

The question is are you even a Republican? Why do you want to make these statements if you are not even a part of the conservative side? Dole was more moderate than some Republicans and more conservative than others. He was pro-life and supported an approach that encouraged hard work and reinforced the faith of the people! Bob Dole would be very much accepted and honored in todays Republican party he was and is a great American!

ThePilgrim 3 years, 9 months ago

"Dole’s “fingerprints” were on every major piece of legislation for a generation" The same legislation that Repubs are decrying as being liberal?

beatrice 3 years, 9 months ago

A well deserved honor for Senator Dole. While I might not have agreed with many of his views, he does have my respect.

Alceste 3 years, 9 months ago

It's a shame such an event has to place with such a dimbulb holding down the governor's seat. I'll bet even bet Bob Dole can see the forest for the trees with respect to this rube in Cedar Crest in Topeka.

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