Skip to content

Bob Dole to lie in state on Thursday at Capitol

Will be one of many observances of the life of the Kansas senator

The body of former Sen. Bob Dole, R-Kan., will lie in state in the Capitol Rotunda, as former Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, did years before.
The body of former Sen. Bob Dole, R-Kan., will lie in state in the Capitol Rotunda, as former Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, did years before. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former Sen. Bob Dole will lie in state in the Capitol Rotunda on Thursday, with other funeral arrangements for the World War II hero and longtime Senate Republican leader still to be announced.

“Senator 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,” Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., said in a statement.

Among the greatest moments in the Capitol over the last decade was Dole’s December 2012 appearance in the Rotunda for the lying in state of fellow senator, hero — and military hospital mate — Daniel K. Inouye of Hawaii.

“I wouldn’t want Danny to see me in a wheelchair,” Dole said as he was helped to the side of Inouye’s casket, where he offered a salute.

Upon arrival in the Capitol, Dole’s casket will assuredly rest upon the same catafalque used for the ceremony honoring Inouye and statesmen before him, dating back to President Abraham Lincoln.

The formal ceremonies for Dole’s arrival and final departure from the Capitol will also take place on Thursday, with limited attendance due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Schumer and Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. jointly announced the plan, along with a statement from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

“Those of us who were lucky to know Bob well ourselves admired him even more,” the Kentucky Republican said in the statement. “A bright light of patriotic good cheer burned all the way from Bob’s teenage combat heroics through his whole career in Washington and through the years since.  We look forward to honoring his life and legacy at the Capitol.”

At the White House, Press Secretary Jen Psaki declined to say when or where President Joe Biden may offer remarks as part of the observances for Dole. Considering their long service together in the Senate, a presidential eulogy would be expected for the former senator and House member from Kansas who was awarded two Purple Hearts for service in the U.S. Army during the Second World War.

Dole died in his sleep early Sunday morning, his family announced. He was 98.

Recent Stories

Strange things are afoot at the Capitol

Photos of the week ending May 24, 2024

Getting down on the Senate floor — Congressional Hits and Misses

US-China tech race will determine values that shape the future

What’s at stake in Texas runoff elections on Tuesday

Democrats decry ‘very, very harmful’ riders in Legislative Branch bill