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Politics Takes A Backseat As Bob Dole Receives Congressional Gold Medal

It doesn’t happen all that often, but politicians on both sides of the aisle really can put down the pitchforks long enough to come together and do amazing things. We saw a perfect example of that on Wednesday, as 94-year-old Bob Dole was honored with the Congressional Gold Medal.

The award is the highest civilian honor in the land, and it was bestowed on Dole for his service to the country as a “soldier, legislator and statesman.”

The longtime GOP congressman served in both the House and Senate, where he would serve a lengthy stint as Senate majority leader. Dole secured the GOP nomination for president in 1996, but he would ultimately come up short in his bid to unseat former President Bill Clinton.

In addition to serving the nation and the state of Kansas as an elected official, Dole proudly served his country in World War II, where he would sustain devastating injuries that rendered his right arm virtually unusable.

Dole was awarded two Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star for his bravery and service, and he would go on to become a key figure in advancing the Americans With Disabilities Act in 1990, as well as in the commissioning of the WWII Veterans Memorial.

Former Sen. John Warner of Virginia was among the many in attendance at the packed scene on Capitol Hill when Dole received the prestigious honor, and he offered some thoughts on the legendary congressman that’s left behind an incredible legacy.

"He was a hell of a leader. For all of the meaning of the medal he's getting today, the Purple Heart is the one he really cherishes," Warner said.

Dole is wheelchair-bound at this stage of his life, but that didn’t prevent him from standing up and paying his respects when the National Anthem played. In one of the more touching scenes of the whole day, Dole was helped to his feet by aides, and he was visibly moved by both the playing of the anthem and the throng of folks that had come out to honor him.

Leaders on both sides of the aisle took their turns throwing plaudits in Dole’s direction, including President Donald Trump, House Speaker Paul Ryan, and Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer. When it was Dole’s turn to speak, he thanked everyone for their kind words, and he demonstrated that his legendary wit remains completely intact while doing so.

"They're probably not true, but they're kind," he said.

All told, it was a memorable event that honored a man that has dedicated his life to serving his country in a number of different ways. Speaker after speaker commended Dole for his leadership, and it’s quite clear that he has the respect of members of both parties.

That respect is well-deserved of course, but one of the bigger takeaways from the whole scene was the lack of partisanship that was on display.

While anyone that may have dared cross the line at such an event would have made themselves into a political pariah, it can still serve as a gigantic sign that things can actually be accomplished when everyone stops yelling and hitting their talking points. Dole has always been noted as a man that can legitimately cross the aisle to get things done, and we sincerely hope the elected officials in attendance walked away with a sense that they can do the same.

Source: Daily Caller, Fox News
Photo: Fox News

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