tv U.S. Senate Sen. Moran on Passing of Sen. Bob Dole CSPAN December 7, 2021 4:28am-4:47am EST
self-deprecating but everybody on that plane realized this was a true hero of that war. i will speak more later on, madam president, but he was a good friend. i was honored to join senator pat roberts and speak about senator dole when he received the congressional gold medal, and i told him how honored i was that he asked me to speak. it's certainly, when i think back during my years here in the senate, that's one of the highest honors i received to have this man whom i admired, i liked, was my friend, that he asked me to speak for him. i also felt that there were so many others who probably even
far better prepared to speak, i felt the a senator: madam president. the presiding officer: the senator from kansas. mr. moran: madam president, it's an honor to be here to address my colleagues in the united states senate and it's an honor that you sit in the chair as i could do so as i pay tribute to the honorable senator bob dole. i was in church on sunday. i got out of church, it's advent, christians are preparing for christmas only to learn that during that church service bob dole had died. it has been the topic of conversation by kansans ever since. not that kind of curiosity conversation that sometimes you have when someone passes away, but that deep respect, can
concern, that care, that appreciation for a life well lived. senator dole grew up down the road from where i grew up. i remember kind of the earliest conversation with my own dad about world war ii experiences was that bina dole, bob dole's mother was, as well as my grandmother, were on party lines, and the conversation between my grandmother and mrs. dole was the terrible circumstance that her son, bob dole, had experienced in the battlefields of italy. my dad, who served in world war ii and served in northern africa, italy, was in the neighborhood and request from one party to another, one party line participant to another, do you think there's
any way that ray can find out how bob is doing. so my earliest recollection, my earliest understanding of the life of bob dole was as a soldier, a member of the army, a person who served in world war ii and was horrifically injured. and my view is and -- i don't know this but having known bob dole and having seen the consequences of his life, what i think is true is that that experience, the near death experience, the expectation not to survive and the long road to recovery created in bob dole, in his mind and heart, a different circumstance and a different result than if that had never happened.
people talk about bob dole's life as a member of congress. he was elected to the united states house of representatives in 1960. i was asked over the weekend, when did you meet bob dole? and i can't remember the first instance, but he was my congressman. and i was engaged in republican politics as a teenager and bob dole was always there at every gathering. and so i grew up in politics around him but never with -- other than a sense this is somebody we really respect. nch8 congressman bob dole became senator bob dole. and his life in this body and his life in the mowps culminate -- house of representatives culminated in amazing achievements on the legislative
battlefield. but when people ask me what do you remember or what made bob dole bob dole, my view is his service to america in world war ii. i think it made him more aware of people who were struggling, people who had disabilities. i think he saw the challenges that people from across the country faced as a result of their service. he saw the challenges that people in foreign countries experienced in world war ii. and when we look at his legislative achievements, we often think -- at least i think of three -- americans with disabilities act, food aid, what i call the dole-mcgovern bill but what many people call the
mcgovern-dole bill that helps feed hungry people, particularly children around the world. and his service to other veterans. his work on this floor resulted in many americans and in fact many citizens of the world having a better shot at life. on my maiden speech on the senate floor, i recognized the circumstance of me, now a united states senator, serving in what we would call in kansas the dole seat and the tremendous challenge that that caused for me knowing that those footsteps my feet would never fit in those shoes. i sit and work from the dole
desk. this drawer has his name sketched in it. and it's a reminder to me about those shoes left unfilled. when i get frustrated with this place, which is not infrequent, i'll put on my running shoes and i'll walk to the lincoln memorial. but in the last decade that allows me not only to go by the vietnam wall and come back by the korean war memorial but now i can stop and pay my respects at the world war ii memorial. that's only because bob dole cared about those he served with. bob dole demanded that there be a memorial to those who served
in world war ii. but he did more than demand, did more than insist. he helped plan it. he recruited volunteers. he raised the money. and so today we have the chance and i assume this week we'll be at the world war ii memorial paying respects to all world war ii veterans but we'll emphasize the service of bob dole who made that place to pay those respects possible. i try to visit with every honor flight that comes to washington, d.c. and in the beginning days of that honor flight, almost everyone, perhaps everyone who came was a world war ii veteran. my own dad got to see the honor built in his -- the memorial built in his honor because bob dole made it possible. my dad came here on an honor
flight. and bob dole was there that day just like he was at almost every circumstance in which veterans were coming to washington, d.c., particularly world war ii veterans, and bob dole didn't stand there for the glory of his service. he stood there to thank others who served in that war. he was there not to take the podium, not to be the public official but to be the fellow soldier who served. lots of things we can command and express our gratitude for what bob dole did, but honoring veterans he saw it as a lif lifetime, lifetime responsibility and opportunity. it's only been a few years since veterans coming to the world war
ii memorial didn't get to shake the hand of bob dole. finally at the age of 96, 95, it became physically impossible to do that. but he was there at every opportunity for as long as he could. he served 36 years in congress, 79 of his 98 as a public servant, a servant of the nation, in the military. and in addition to the legislative accomplishments, he was a decent person. he exhibited civility. he had warmth. and no elected official, no offense to my friend and colleague who knew senator dole so well, senator robert, no offense to pat, but no one could compete with bob dole's wit. my guess is that as an injured
soldier spending months in a bed in a v.a. hospital where incidentally, he shared a -- the hospital with daniel inouye who was also gravely injured and later these two soldiers who survived battle and rehabilitation became fast friends, one a republican, one a democrat. the republican-democrat thing didn't mean that much. it was the shared service, the sacrifice that these two world war ii heroes brought them together and maintained that friendship. bob dole exhibited that wit. in fact, i had so many people after bob dole's 1996 run for the presidency, he appeared on shows in the evening, late night
talk shows. i don't know, hundreds of times people would say i've only seen bob dole, that side of him, he probably could have been elected president. he had the capability of causing people to smile and it could take the edge out of a difficult circumstance because of his wit. we're going to spend some time honoring senator dole this week. i want to make certain that i use my opportunity that kansans have given me to express on their behalf, not every kansan, in fact not many kansans will be in washington, d.c. and not many people will be able to have the public eye and ear to express their thoughts. but even this weekend throughout the time that bob dole has been in office and the time that bob
dole was no longer in office, kansans have held him in the highest regard. they've appreciated his service. they respect him even in disagreements. i've seen disagreements. i've been in the room where senator dole was there. he voted on the bill that raised taxes on financial institutions and something there to do with farmers, and they were there to complain. but bob dole had such stature that no one could complain very long about a vote he cast, especially when he explained you can't get everything you want here, but we can make things better if we give a little here to get a lot more there. a lesson, a lesson for us today. so on behalf of all kansans i express their care, their love, and their sympathies and
condolences to senator elizabeth dole, his wife, to robin, his daughter, to other family members, nieces and nephews. i also express my condolences to all those who worked for senator dole in his office, whether it was his kansas office or the office of the majority or minority leader. there are so many people in washington, d.c. today and in fact i looked to see how many united states senators served with bob dole during his tenure here that still serve today. i heard senator leahy on the floor earlier this afternoon, senator grassley, senator mcconnell, i heard him as well. senator shelby. senator feinstein. senator murray. senator inhofe. and senator wyden. they all had the opportunity to serve with the kansas senator, with the senator from kansas bob dole. and i can't imagine that that
doesn't influence the way they do their work and the way they look at the united states se senate. but those who served in his office as members of his staff and many of them have gone on through nominations and quon fir nations to -- confirmations to become hugely important people in agencies, departments, and bureaus across this government. his mentorship lives on, another legacy of bob dole is all the kids that were interns, all the young men and women who worked here, for him. all the people who were influenced to have a little bit different approach to the rest of the world, a little bit different attitude toward people who they might disagree with. and a chance to bring the values that bob dole exhibited in his public life to more people across the nation.
i don't know how to sum up, but i assume i'll have a few more opportunities this week to express the life of bob dole, to express the value of the life of bob dole. so this afternoon it's not a conclusion but it's an ending of these remarks. i thank senator dole for being a kansan with a lot of common sense. i thank senator dole for his willingness to serve, serve our nation, put on the uniform, go through the terrible experience of his injuries and his rehabilitation. i thank kansans who helped him through that experience. most of my life i've heard the stories of bob dole's hometown of russell, kansas.
again, i grew up within 15 miles of russell. and upon his return from the v.a. hospital to his hometown, the community rallied to his survival and his success and his rehabilitation. the story of cigar boxes in the drugstore where he worked as a soda jerk in high school. the business men and women, the people, the farmers and laborers, the workers who put nickels and dimes, a few dollars here and there, into the cigar boxes around town to make sure that bob dole and his mom and dad had the resources to recover. maybe it takes us back to that value of coming from a small town where people know each other and care about each other, where on a party line too worried -- two worried mothers could have a conversation about their sons in service, where a
community knows the importance of respecting and helping those in need. so to the people of russell and to the people across kansas, thank you for the manner in which you have treated and respected a man worthy of our respect. 44. a senator: madam president. the presiding officer: the senator from illinois. mr. durbin: madam president, i learned this morning about the passing of senator robert dole. what an extraordinary person he was. it was not my good fortune to serve with him in the united states senate, but as a member of the house of representatives i knew his work. i can remember when we enacted the americans with disabilities act. tom harkin was our leader on the democratic side. he had a member of his