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tv   Former Sen. Bob Dole Receives Congressional Gold Medal  CSPAN  January 17, 2018 2:46pm-4:30pm EST

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>> the federal government faces a possible shutdown this coming friday night. lawmakers are going to decide on a short term package to keep the government working until the middle of next month. the house will debate it torl and the senate may are also take it up tomorrow. following the congressional bill funding the federal government, live coverage on c-span, and the senate on c-span 2 and you can watch online at or listen with the free c-span radio app. here's a story posted about an hour ago by npr. former senator bob dole is going
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to receive the congressional gold medal in recognition to his service to the nation as a soldier, and statesman. he is going to be presented the medal by a part san group and congressional leaders. this is going to be in the row ton d.a. he was a only gop presidential nominee to endorse the president. the gold medal has been arranged for george washington, rosa parks to frank sinatra, and the congress' highest display of achievements and contributions. mr. dole spent 35 years in congress and most of them in the senate where he rose the post of the republican leader, and a position that he held for a record nearly 11 years n. 1996, he was the party's nominee for president and losing to bill clinton and he lost two earlier bids for the nomination.
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he was are also gerald ford's running mate in 1996. there you can see the capital row u ton da,-- rotunda, and we watching as it is preparing to begin and the remasrks are to b starting at 3:00 p.m. eastern time.
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♪ ♪ >> ladies and gentlemen, your attention, please. the ceremony will begin shortly. please take your seat. silence all electronic devices and refrain from all flash photography during the ceremony. thank you.
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>> ladies and gentlemen, please welcome our honored guest, members of the united states house of representatives, members of the united states senate, the speaker of the united states house of representatives, the vice president of the united states and the president of the united states. [ applause ]
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[ applause ] [ applause ]
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>> ladies and gentlemen, the speaker of the united states house of representatives, the honorable paul ryan. [ applause ] >> please be seated. good afternoon, everybody. it is a privilege to welcome you to the grandest hall in washington for an even grander occasion as we award the highest civilian honor that this body can bestow. i am honored to be joined today by president donald trump and vice president mike pence as well as senator elizabeth dole and second lady karen pence. i'd also like to welcome all of our congressional leaders and so many familiar faces that i see here in the audience. today, it is my honor to say, that pursuant to s1616 we award the congressional gold medal to the soldier, the legislator and
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the statesman from kansas, senator bob dole. [ cheers and applause ] [ applause ] [ applause ] >> the congressional gold medal is one of our oldest traditions. since its founding, our country has been ushered beyond the threshold of greatness by individuals of unrivalled courage. bob dole is one of those giants. for the man from russell, it was
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always a question of what could he do for others? be it on the front lines of world war ii or within the halls of congress, bob dole always stood by what is just and what is right. he was a resounding voice for the hungry, and he was a resounding voice for those with disability, negotiating some of the biggest reforms that our social programs have ever seen. he's also proven himself to be one of the greatest allies americans veterans will ever know. in 1999 he stood in this very place to dedicate that very flag for our prisoners of war and those missing in action. [ applause ] >> bob dole has never stopped fighting for though who fight
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for us. he is as honorable as they come. it is this kind of american hero, the selfless, staunch defenders of those who cannot defend themselves who do not always get the recognition that they deserve. so today, may this celebration mark not only all he has done for those in this room, not only all that he has done for those watching at home, but all he has done and the impact that he has made for those who don't even realize that it was he who made it. senator dole, because of you, america is much better. on behalf of congress and all americans, thank you and god bless. [ applause ]
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>> ladies and gentlemen, please stand for the presentation of the colors, the performance of our national anthem and the retiring of the colors. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
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♪ o say, can you see by the dawn's early light ♪ ♪ what so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming? ♪ ♪ whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight ♪ ♪ o'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming? ♪ ♪ and the rockets' red glare the bombs bursting in air ♪ ♪ gave proof through the night that our flag was still there ♪ ♪ oh, say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave ♪ ♪ o'er the land
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of the free ♪ ♪ and the home of the brave? ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ >> please remain standing as the chaplain of the united states house of representatives father patrick conroy gives the invocation. >> let us pray.
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god of abraham, we give you thanks for the gift of life and for the many blessings that life brings. today we gather in this hallowed temple to representative government dedicated to the enjoyment of life and its blessings for its citizens to honor senator bob dole of kansas. we are honored by his presence and his long life of service to his own nation. as a congressman, senator and among so many efforts in his life as a private citizen as co-creator of the bipartisan policy center. a legislative giant from a bygone era, may his commitment to work across the aisle to embrace practical bipartisanship
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on many issues serve as an inspiration to current members of congress from both sides of the aisle who desire to be productive in their work in congress. though easy to say, we know, o, god, that this is difficult. thus, it is all the more note worth they his successors in government have chosen to honor him this day with the congressional gold medal. bless our world, o god with peace. bless senator bob dole and his wife elizabeth and god, bless the united states of america. amen. >> please be seated.
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>> ladies and gentlemen, united states representative from the second district of kansas, the honorable lynn jenkins. [ applause ] >> thank you. it's truly a great pleasure to be here in the capitol today honoring not only a great kansan and an american patriot, but also a mentor and my dear friend. on this historic day i am pleased to be joined by so many to award the congressional gold medal to senator bob dole in recognition to his service to the nation as a soldier, a legislator and statesman. i am moved by the support, love and respect the congress and our entire country has shown for this man. i think the good senator is fond of saying, you can take the boy
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out of kansas, but you can't take kansas out of the boy. i know this is true when it comes to senator dole. when i was first selected to the kansas house, the kansas senate, state treasury and congress there has been a strong, consistent voice meantoring me all along the way. the senator is always checking in on us -- on those of us back homemaking sure kansans still know they have a special place in his heart, that commitment to the people of the great state of kansas is truly inspiring. senator dole is known for many great accomplishments, but beyond all of his accomplishments he is fondly remembered as a public servant who put others before himself. the senator has given his blood, sweat and undying passion to serve this country. it is only fitting that we award one of our nation's greatest citizens with the congressional gold medal. senator dole, as you have impacted me and inspired me to
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public service, you have greatly impacted so many in this nation as well as people all over the world that you've never even met. i am blessed and humbled to call you friend. there is no person i would rather see be awarded the congressional gold medal and god bless you and your family, and may we all choose to live by your example. [ applause ] >> ladies and gentlemen, united states representative from the fifth district of maryland and the democratic whip of the house the honorable steny hoyer. [ applause ] >> mr. president, mr. vice president, mr. speaker, leader
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mcconnell, leader schumer, former speaker pelosi, senator dole, the senators dole. in his timeless study of political courage, john f. kennedy wrote, and i quote, the true democracy living and growing and inspiring puts its faith in the people. faith that the people will not simply elect men who will represent their views ably and faithfully, but also elect men who will exercise their conscientious judgment. faith that the people will not condemn those whose devotion to principle leads them to
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unpopular courses, but will reward courage. there are many speakers after me, and i imagine the word courage will be entoned frequently. respect, honor, and ultimately recognized right, john kennedy spoke of senator bob dole, and other americans who have risen above the average and been extraordinary in their service to the american people. few americans living today have demonstrated the kind of courage that bob dole has. the medal he is receiving today represents his possession of two kinds of courage. the first is valor, the kind of bravery he displayed on the
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battlefields of the second world war whose wounds he's carried ever since. the second is conviction, a steady determination over the course of one's public life to stand up for what one believes to be right and to be just. that is our bob dole. that's what bob dole did in congress when he worked across the aisle with me and others to enact the americans with disabilities act. and it's what he did when he came to the senate floor in 2012 in his wheelchair, to advocate again for those with disabilities around the world against some in his party's opposition. it's the same courage he displayed again and again and again as a senator, as majority
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leader, as a presidential candidate, and as a private citizen. his devotion continue to this very minute. how blessed america is by their service. as we celebrate that courage today we pay tribute to bob dole not only as a great legislator, but as a good and great and decent american and human being, and he has been advantaged, of course, by the partnership of an extraordinary woman, a woman of compassion and commitment and like her husband of great patriotism, loyal to our country and its people, his wife, liddy
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dole. [ applause ] >> senator, i am proud of the work that we've done together. i am honored by your friendship, and so taken with your devotion to country. if i were going to event a united states senator who would reach out across the aisle, reach out across the country to serve this nation well, i would invent bob dole. i am proud to be on hand today to recognize all you've achieved, senator, to enhance the work of the congress and to make our country stronger and safer. how appropriate it is to give a gold medal to someone who is the gold standard. [ applause ]
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>> ladies and gentlemen, united states senator from kansas, the honorable pat roberts. [ applause ] >> thank you. mr. president, mr. vice president, senator, elizabeth dole, distinguished leaders and guests, it is both a privilege and an honor for me to be part of this ceremony for my friend, my colleague, my longtime mentor bob dole, kansas' favorite son. you know, bob, looking around
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this rotunda where our nation's most senior elected officials, some -- some -- some might say there's no subject on which we could all agree and congresswoman jenkins and i embarked on a mission last summer to make this congressional medal happen, was there, just to put it mildly, just a tad bit of division in our congress. i knew that to get the senate's attention i needed to put elbow grease into cutting the noise and the discourse, but in less than two days, i had the signatures of all 100 senators. [ applause ] >> i didn't have to go to them and ask.
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they came to me and asked if they could sign. it takes a very special person for all 100 of us to be so enthusiastic and grateful, joined in bipartisan cause for this unique award. the fact that we are here today is a testament to you personally, bob, to your leadership in congress, to your statesmanship, and perseverance in bringing us the world war ii memorial and to your heroism and sacrifice on the battlefield. now, bob, you know i could go pretty much all day long about you. i have some pretty good stories to tell, however, i will limit it to one. to the man and the mission our mission to build a presidential memorial to the man who commanded you on the battlefields of italy, dwight
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david eisenhower of abilene, kansas, i am proud to say with your tireless advocacy, the memorial is now being built just down the hill. thank you, thanks to your commitment. bob, people will be able to visit the memorial to ike, the man you call your hero. bob, to many of us, and especially to team dole, you are our hero. your leadership on so many laws that have improved the lives of all americans in memorials forever etched in stone will also remind america of you, the boy from russell, kansas, and your enduring love of our country. we return that love for you today. bob, god bless you, and god bless america.
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thank you. [ applause ] >> ladies and gentlemen, united states senator from vermont, the honorable patrick leahy. [ applause ] >> thank you, and mr. president and mr. vice president, thank you for being here. you're honoring a true, a true american patriot, and bob, the memories that come to the surface to be here with you and elizabeth, two senators i've served with. my son and i feel blessed for the opportunities we've had to spend time with the both of you on so many occasions, but
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especially when you invited us to your wedding reception. that was a great day. now i've enjoyed learning from senator bob dole, with majority leader bob dole, with republican leader bob dole beginning when i was a young member of the senate, a while ago. beyond the impressive fact that bob dole is the nation's longest-serving republican leader of the senate, we can say he is a senate legend. the best leaders i've known in my 43 years in the senate have shown three special qualities. first, he understood and appreciated and protected the senate's unique constitutional role in the system. the second is the ability to bring people together to forge agreements even when based on compromises. as david has observed about
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congress, little of great consequence is accomplished by any legislator alone, high achievement is a joint effort especially with leadership like yours, bob, and the senate leader needs all of the tools. effective law making make a methodical and painstaking process, and you have to be a quartererback, a shepherder, and confessor and bob, you are every one of those. as a leader, he was a catalyst, a facilitator, a straight talker and he has one of the best sense of humor of any senator i've worked with and like pat, i could probably not repeat some of the comments we had, but i remember when he and george mitchell, the democratic leader, met every day to chat he'd invite democrats and republicans into his office and somehow persuade us we were all working together and we did. of course, his third trait is why that worked.
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that's the trait of trust. a good and effective leader must keep his or her word. you always kept your word. now we know of the terrible injuries he suffered, but those injuries led him to become a champion for others who cope with disability, thinking of other, not himself. i watched conservative bob dole and liberal george mcgovern created food for education and child attrition program, helping so many people here and around the world. now we're only as strong as our values. our values are only as real as our actions, but bob dole rose to so many challenges under tremendous pressure and he set the example of putting country before party, and we say, my friend, well done. a grateful nation thanks you.
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the venerable united states senate you love so deeply is better and stronger for your stewardship. we all thank you. we honor you, elizabeth, and i feel so honored that i was able to serve with you. [ applause ] >> ladies and gentlemen, the united states army band. ♪ ♪ ♪ when you walk through a
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storm ♪ ♪ hold your head up high ♪ and don't be afraid of the dark ♪ ♪ at the end of a storm is a golden sky ♪ ♪ and the sweet silver song of our lark ♪ ♪ walk on through the wind ♪ walk on through the rain ♪ though your dreams be tossed
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and blown ♪ ♪ walk on ♪ walk on with hope in your heart ♪ ♪ and you'll never walk alone ♪ you'll never walk alone [ applause ]
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>> ladies and gentlemen, the democratic leader of the united states house of representatives, the honorable nancy pelosi. [ applause ] >> mr. president, mr. vice president and mrs. pence, to our distinguished speaker, majority leader mcconnell, chuck schumer, it's an honor to be here with so many friends of senator dole and so many colleagues. i first want to pay tribute to the sponsors of the resolution, congresswoman lynn jenkins and congressman whip steny hoyer, and senator roberts and senator leahy. thank you. thank you for your leadership and getting this done so expeditiously. it is fitting -- that was an applause line for our sponsors. [ applause ]
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>> it is fitting that we met here in the rotunda of the capitol where american heroes who fought and forged extraordinary project for our nation are memorialized in marvel and bronze in the company of washington and lincoln, eisenhower and grant. are, susan b. anthony and martin luther king jr., we gather to recognize another american champion, senator robert joseph dole. and this pantheon of patriots, we are privileged to honor this leader of great integrity, deep dignity and extraordinary courage. we are blessed to be here with senator dole and his extraordinary wife elizabeth with whom he has just shared,
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they just celebrated 42 years of beautiful marriage. [ applause ] >> elizabeth -- elizabeth is an american hero in her own right. i join steny in recognizing her. our nation is better for her strong leadership and her service in the cabinet and the united states sen at that time. we now thank her for her tireless work on behalf of our hidden heroes, the military caregivers who sacrifice every day for our veterans and our country. thank you, elizabeth. [ applause ] >> senator bob dole has demonstrated his steadfast commitment to country right from the start. when the second world war broke out we all know bob left the wheat fields of russell, kansas, to fight fascism in the hills of italy. bob's courage in battle was legendary. for his selflessness and immense sacrifice he was awarded two
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purple hearts and the bronze star with the oak leaf cluster for valor. equally extraordinary was the bravery that bob dole, senator bob dole demonstrated on on we're all calling him bob today, demonstrated during his difficult recovery. he turned adversity into action as he healed from the grave wounds sustained while risking his life for a fellow soldier and decided to come to congress and to serve the people of kansas here. it gives my colleagues in the house and me great, deep pride to know that senator bob dole first served in washington as a member of the house of representatives. that could be an applause line, but i guess not. [ applause ] the senators aren't applauding, but anyway, as a representative, as a senator and then majority leader, he fought relentlessly to ensure that every man and
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woman in uniform would receive the care they need upon returning from combat. his commitment reaffirms our sacred pledge just as the military leaves no one behind on the battlefield, we must leave no veteran behind when they come home. [ applause ] president -- okay. [ applause ] president dwight eisenhower, mr. president, i point him out there, he chose to be memorialized here. his family toll us that his wish as a five-star general, isn't that exciting? because a lot of people can be president of the united states, but hardly anybody can be a five-star general. but anyway, he stands in bronze in the rotunda, and he once said, president eisenhower did, a people that values its privileges above its principles
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soon loses both. senator dole's life and career embodied that. he has dedicated a life time to upholding our american principles and our founding values. senator dole firmly believes in the value of justice, and embattled in congress in the 1960s to expand the civil rights of every american. he believes in fairness, fighting to create and then push the americans with disabilities act over the finish line as my colleague mr. hoyer mentioned who worked with him on that important legislation. bob also believes in honoring human dignity. together with senator george mcgovern he extended the food stamps and school nutrition and special initiatives to millions of women, children and working families. his mcgovern-dole food for
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education initiative has brought food from america's heartland to communities across the world. that vital initiative is synonymous with america's compassion and leadership in the world. senator dole once said our challenge is not to question american ideals or replace them, but to act worthy of them. may you all take heed of those profound words. senator bob dole, for a life time spent defending, advancing and exemplifying our proudest american ideals, we thank you. this congress sends our warmest congratulations to you, to your incredible wife elizabeth, daughter robin and the entire dole family. in accepting this congressional gold medal, senator dole, you bring luster to it and your service and leadership has brought luster to the congress of the united states. thank you. [ applause ]
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>> ladies and gentlemen, the democratic leader of the united states senate, the honorable chuck schumer. [ applause ] >> president trump, vice president pence, majority leader, mcconnell, speaker ryan, leader pelosi, senators leahy and roberts, congressman hoyer, jenkins, senator elizabeth dole, friends and family who have traveled here today, welcome. we gather, of course, to recognize senator bob dole, a son of the heartland born to an era of depression and war, who unblinkingly answered his country's call to arms, who bravely fought in the second
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world war and at the age of 21 sustained grave injuries for which he earned two purple hearts and the bronze star, who after returning home did not pass the mantel of service, but rather continued to carry the torch in an altogether different way, elected by the people of kansas to serve them in congress for more than 35 years. what an astounding record of service. i never had the pleasure of serving in the senate with senator dole, but his reputation and his achievements and most of all his character preceded him. i knew of his steadfast advocacy for veterans and for americans with disabilities, something we greatly admire. i learned about his ability to work across the aisle, to build coalitions that trust you could place in his word and the respect he'd show a political
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opponent, even as he fought them. and though i've never served with him in the senate, i am, unfortunately, familiar with his trademark wit. senator dole is responsible for a certain quotation that hounded me for many years. apparently, the most dangerous place in washington is between chuck schumer and a camera. [ laughter ] [ applause ] >> perhaps a grain of truth. now, for the benefit of posterity, that observation has been made before about phil gramm and your homeboy, arlen spector, but for some reason when senator dole uttered those words about yours truly, it
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stuck. senator dole, i bear you no ill will. after all, you were the one who brought c-span to the senate. i never would have found as many tv cameras without you. [ laughter ] with much of the focus today on senator dole's illustrious career in congress, his post-senate life is similarly renowned. for his organization's work over the past several years, senator dole has been recognized around the world for his efforts to combat childhood hunger and malnutrition over the course of more than four decades, senator dole never stopped serving, never stopped striving, never stopped working to make his country and his world a better place. what a legacy. senator dole has earned more than the congressional gold
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medal, though that he will receive, he has earned our universal admiration. congratulations, bob, on this much-deserved honor. [ applause ] >> latds and gentlemen, the majority leader of the united states senate, the honorable mitch mcconnell. >> 67 years ago, on a january day, a young man headed to the kansas state capitol for
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swearing in as state representative. he was only 27. but it wouldn't be the first time he swore to defend the c s constitution. back in 1942, just a teenager, he raised his right hand and enlisted in the army. that oath took him to the hills of italy. one day his company took heavy fire. a nazi shell ripped into his shoulder. and although second lieutenant robert j. dole of the tenth mountain division beat the odds and recovered, he would live with his war wounds everyday thereafter. because of how faithfully he fulfilled that first oath, bob
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dole could no longer raise hit right hand but he wasn't done serving his country. so he walked into the state house, raised his left hand, and began the next chapter and a live filled with patriotic sacrifice and public service. bob and i both arrived in the senate in 1969. he was a new senator fresh off a commanding victory. i was a 20-something staffer. bob already stood out. the staff marvelled at the kindness and decency he showed us, though we had nothing to offer him. bob spent 35 years in congress, including a decade as leader. he ran national campaign. his fingerprints are all off countless pieces of
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consequential legislation. but the notice notable part of bob's career is the character that shaped it. his honesty. his hugh mimility. his abiding love for the people of kansas. bob dole's resume never left his roots behind. in the 1980s, it was the son of the dust bowl and the depression who broke the stalemate and helped save social security. in 1990, it was this wounded warrior who reached across the aisle to help pass the americans with disabilities act. bob's accomplishments reshaped public policy.
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but for anyone who served with him, they aren't his most memorable legacy. that would be either his unimpeachable integrity or his world class sense of humor. bob showed us that a leader needs a backbone and a funny bone. and in his case, neither was in short supply. i didn't understand how high bob set the bar until my turn came to follow in his foot steps. you see, bob and i are members of a small, rather elite group. we shared a unique role. one with intense demands and awesome responsibilities. that's right. we're the only two americans in history to serve as the first gentleman of the department of transportation and the department of labor. [ cheers and applause ]
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now bob sets a towering example in many ways and not least is the importance of marrying up. he and elizabeth have stood together, served together, and encouraged one another with a loving friendship. for so many, the bowls surely model what it means to be unlimited partners. elizabeth is absolutely wonderful to have you here with us today. [ applause ] bob has built an extraordinary life on the basis of ordinary
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american values. as a legislator, he's shown that principles and pragmatism are not opposites but compliments. as the leader he prized results over rhetoric. and above all, to percy jones hospital, to his favorite senate balcony facing the mall, this soldier, statesman, and american hero has never stopped fighting for vulnerable people who have less power and less strength than he does. that, my friends, is the true measure of servant leadership. that is bob dole. bob more than deserves the honor we are conferring today. by the way i see it, the greater honor is ours. to thank him on behalf of the country he has loved and served so faithfully for his truly
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extraordinary service. thank you. [ applause ] >> ladies and gentlemen, the speaker of the united states house of representatives, the honorable paul brian. >> at this time, i would like to invite senator leahy, senator roberts, congresswoman jenkins and congresswoman hoyer to join us on the stage to present senator bob dole with the congressional gold medal.
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[ applause ] >> ladies and gentlemen, the
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honorable bob dole. [ applause ] [ cheers and applause ] mr. president, mr. vice president, mrs. pence, and vice president is around somewhere, we are honored by your presence, and we thank you very much for being here. i want to thank all of those who have said such kind words about me. they probably aren't true, but
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they were nice. mr. speaker, i'm extremely honored to accept this great honor. and i thank you for presenting it to me. i also wish to thank all of the speakers who have been up here and said such kind words. and i also want to thank my colleagu colleagues. for without them, nothing would
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have been accomplished. and i also want to thank my staff. and all the staff that may be around. [ applause ] i've always said that you're no better than your staff. and i thank them for all they've done for me over the years. mr. speaker, i yield the balance of my time to this distinguished gentle woman from north carolina. [ applause ]
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>> and what a privilege it is to speak for the man i love with all my heart. i am so proud of you, bob. [ applause ] i once called myself the most optimistic man in america. maybe that comes from taking the longview. it's amazing that almost 60 years have passed since my neighbors in russell, kansas and the voters of what we call the big firth district sent me to this esteemed institution. i arrived in washington as green as a kansas wheat field in may. fortunately, i had some marvelous mentors. both republicans and democrats to help guide me through the
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legislative maze. in the house, statesmen like jerry ford and charlie hallic, and in the senate, giants like everett dirtson, howard baker, hubert humphrey and george mcgovern, all shows me a decency and dedication that transcended any party or generational differences. it was dirksen who famously observed, i am a man of fixed and unbending principles, and one of my principles is flexibility. put another way, even conviction politicians accept the need for compromise from time to time. this is how the american republic was built. and we remain a nation defined by our diversity of, a coat of many colors and a healthy respect for those with whom we may agree to disagree. for many years, i occupied a
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suite of offices in the capitol just down the hall. s-230 is an impressive setting any way you look at it. but it is the view from s-230 that sets it apart. sweeping down capitol hill, past general grant on his bronze horse, to george washington's enmarble shrine to abraham lincoln. since 2004 that view has included a memorial which i am truly proud to have championed. a fitting tribute to the 16 million citizen warriors of world war ii and those on the home front to aid civilization in its darkest hour. the view s-230 extends still further to the hills of arlington. the countless heros who rest there in soil hallowed by they're service, practiced many
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faiths, spoken many tongues, but this much they had in common, patriots before part zans. they put country before self. they gave everything for generations they would never see to uphold the freedoms that make life itself worth living. it's a long way from s-230 to the slopes of arlington. that shine as bright as the gold in any medal. so i share with you a lesson learned over 60 years. leadership begins with the longview.
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thank you. [ applause ] ladies and gentlemen, the vice president of the united states, the honorable mike pence. [ applause ] >> thank you. mr. president, speaker ryan, leader leader pi lossesy, leader kohn el, leader shimmer, distinguished leaders of congress to vice president quail, governor brownbeck to
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senator elizabeth dole and robin, all of the members of the dole family. and especially to the newest recipient of the congressional gold medal, the honorable senator, bob dole. [ applause ] i do so as vice president, from the senate. as i told bob, husband of a kansas-born robin pence. as we heard today from speakers more eloquent than me, to the kansas to the war-torn hills of italy to the marbled halls of
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washington, d.c., bob dole has spent a lifetime serving this country. with courage and conviction. today we heard stories from those who have known and work with senator dole throughout his life. we have heard the examples of his character and they are legion. but for my part, there was one moment in his life that seem for me to embody the character of this great american. in every stage of his life, bob epitomized the greatest generation. when he represented as a combat veteran in world war ii. represented your state in the congress of the united states. when you led the congress asthma jo as majority loader. and there was also that time in
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history when senator bob dole answered the call to run for president of the united states. but it was in midst of that campaign when he did something that i believe generations of us who are called to public service will remember and reflect on. bob dole held one of the most powerful positions in washington, d.c. a role that would have been waiting for him if he had lost the race for the white house. but on a spring day in 1996, bob dole did something different. not different from his character. not different from the long expansive service in his life. bb dole took to the floor of the united states senate and did what other statesman have done in the history of this nation, and he voluntarily relinquished
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a position of authority. he bid that historic chamber good-bye. he stepped down from the united states senate and he told the american people, quote, i will seek the presidency with nothing to fall back on. but the white house or home. in that moment, bob, i'll always believe that american people saw your heart. yourselflessness. for you did in that moment as you've done throughout your life, you put the interest of the country first. and you dwemonstrated your unwaivering commitment to serve the american people, no matter the cost. senator dole, it is my great honor to stand before you today and offer a few words among so many others.
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we've heard of your life of service and of consequence but bob, you deserve to hear it from someone far more important than me on this day. so ladies and gentlemen, it is my high honor, and distinct privilege to introduce to you, the 45th president of the united states of america, president donald trump. [ applause ] >> thank you very much. i mustcy that it is my great honor to join you today and to witness this incredible moment in history, the highest civilian honor to our friend, a true
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american hero, bob dole. and bob, it's an honor to be here. thank you very much. great job. [ applause ] >> bob earned his place in the chronicle of american legends by the time he was 21. and in the decades since he has never stopped earning his place in the pages of american history. i also want to recognize senator elizabeth doej. elizabeth, that was beautiful. your words were beautiful. thank you very much. you've been my friend for a long time. thank you very much. you've meant so much to our country and done so much for so many. and i know that very well. thank you. [ applause ] everything we've heard today reminds us of the thoughts of second lieutenant dole when he was more than 4,000 miles away
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from where we are today. many years ago. as his body laid paralyzed against a cold jagged italian hill. his thoughts went back home, back to that small town in russell, kansas. on hill, 913 of his darkest moments, bob dole had home in his heart. he wanted to go home. and in the end, it was home that saved him. home was his brand na who believed he would walk when the doctors doubted. that he would even live. it was his mother whose love and cooking fuelled the fight to move his legs just a half inch higher each and everyday. half an inch each day, bob. half an inch he would say, each day. it was dawson or main street
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where a cigar box sat on the counter to solicit donations for his so many surgeries. home is where bob dole learned the classic american grit. he knows about grit. that got him through 39 months in hospice where he learned values of loyalty and integrity, hard work, faith and family that have defined him ever since. to the stars, through difficulties is the state motto. to the stars through difficulty. a beautiful motto. of the truly great state of kansas. and the perfect description for senator dole's extraordinary life. from his first year as young representative from kansas, to his tenure as majority leader of the united states senate. all the way to today, bob dole never stopped fighting for the
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values. he fights for kansas, for veterans, for the disabled and for all of his fellow americans. and he always has. tens of thousands of veterans have bordered on our flights to visit world war ii memorial, thanks to in great measure, bob dole. nearly ef day at the memorial you can see tough war heros in their 80s and 90s moved to tears and many recount the unforgettable experience of being greeted at their memorial and much to their surprise by senator dole, somebody they have great respect for. one world war ii veteran from ohio wrote him after a visit. he told him that before he traveled, on the honor flight that's capital h, capital f, very important, honor flight, to see the memorial he felt like he hadn't amounted to very much. he didn't feel good about
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himself. but when he came to washington, met senator dole, and saw the memorial to a service he said i truly felt like a hero for a day i've never felt any better. that's because he remembered he was part of something much greater than himself. he was an american patriot who defended freedom in its need of hour. he really went out and defended it more than ever. those who wear our nation's uniform are part of an unbroken chain of heros. their sacrifice, bob's sacrifice, keeps us safe and prosperous and free. long after we are gone, when our children and grandchildren and great grandchildren visit that extraordina extraordina extraordina extraordinary tribute on the national mall, they will no longer find world war ii veterans gazing up at their memorial to their friends and
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their deeds. they will be gone. but they will still stand in the place where our heros have stood for so many years. their hearts will be filled by the beauty and reverence of that grand memorial. and they will hear the story of a great man who rose up from a small town in the heart of america to become a soldier and congressman and leader admired by all. they will hear the story of bob dole and in hearing that story, they will truly learn what it means to be a great american bob, that is the legacy you have left our nation and it will outlive us all. your a friend. you are a patriot, a hero, leader. and today you have become a recipient of the congressional
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gold medal. it's an honor to be with you, bob. thank you for your service. thank you very much. [ applause ] [ applause ] >> ladies and gentlemen, please remain standing as the chaplin of the united states senate, dr. barry black, gives the benediction.
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>> let us pray. eternal lord god, the giver of every good and perfect gift. we thank you for the gift of senator robert j. dole. a hero and an exemplary role model for patriotism, service, justice, and freedom. lord, we're grateful for the beauty of his life that continues to bring light to darkness, joy to sadness, pardon to injury, and hope to despair. may his magnanimous living challenge us all to see you more
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clearly, love you more dearly, and to follow you more nearly each day. lord, bless and keep senator bob dole and his precious elizabeth in all of their going out and coming in. keep them without stumbling or slipping, and one day may they both hear you say, well done. good and fateful servants, enter into the joys of your lord. we pray this in your great name, amen. >> please be seated. ladies and gentlemen, please
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remain at your seats for the departure of the official party. and until your row is invited to depart by a visitor services representative. thank you. ♪ ♪ ♪
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the ceremony honoring bob dole receive willing the congressional gold medal from house and senate leaders and the president's remarks will reair tonight at 8 will okay p.m. on c-span. you can also watch any time on
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this weekend on american history tv on c-span 3, saturday at 8:00 p.m. eastern on lectures and history, depaul university professor on president abraham lincoln's portrayal in art and photographs. >> mr. lincoln, give me back my 500,000 sons. meaning, the soldiers lost in the war. so this is during the civil war. 1860. the darkest hours of the civil war. 1864. and an artist with legs slung over his chair like a country bumpkin, so elegant and crude. he says, by the way, that reminds me of a story. which is another part of his reputation, always telling stories and tall tales and jokes. sometimes to an irritating extent.
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>> at 10:30 p.m., from the american historical associations annual meeting, a discussion on free speech on college campuses. >> intellectual diversity, i think, is healthier than many people suspect. that doesn't mean there isn't an ush issue where certain groups' views think there is less active attention from the faculty and administration. i think they have less public attention and we need to meet those students where they are and to help them have a place in the public conversation where they feel more included. >> on sunday on real america, 198 will 1987 film "reel america." >> when you do cocaine, you lie


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