State Unveils Kansas Walk of Honor with Sen. Bob Dole
KSCB News - September 30, 2011 3:28 pm
The State of Kansas launched the Kansas Walk of Honor with the unveiling of a plaque recognizing the contributions made by Sen. Bob Dole on a state and national level. More than 100 family, friends and fellow Kansans joined Sen. Dole, his wife Elizabeth, Gov. Sam Brownback and First Lady Mary Brownback
Born in Russell, KS in 1923, Dole served as a combat infantry officer in Italy during WWII and was wounded twice. He graduated from Washburn University Law School. Highlights of Sen. Dole’s long public service career include county attorney of Russell County; Kansas House of Representatives; U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate. He was the GOP nominee for the vice-presidency in 1976, serving as Gerald Ford’s running mate and was the party’s presidential nominee in 1996.
“It’s hard to measure the height of a tree while it is standing, yet in Bob Dole we know we have a giant,” Gov. Brownback said. “In years to come, fourth grade students will walk by this plaque and ask the question, “Who’s Bob Dole?” The tour guide will respond, “He’s a great Kansas who believed in America. He was almost President of the United States. He bled on the battle field in World War II and went on to be a leader in the U.S. Senate. He was voted by historians one of the five most important Kansans in our history.” And if I’m within earshot, I’ll add, “He’s what most Kansans would call a good man.” And that’s saying a lot.”
Sen. Dole said his debt to those Kansans who elected him to serve will never be repaid.
“But it can be honored – every time I try, in some small way, to emulate the compassion and generosity of my friends and neighbors in Russell, multiplied over the years by countless acts of kindness, and culminating today in this ceremony,” Sen. Dole said. “A long time ago, long before anyone could remotely imagine Bob Dole in a Walk of Honor, I took inspiration from a song called “You’ll Never Walk Alone.” My whole life, up to and including today, has been a validation of that song. And the greatest honor of my life has been to share that walk with my fellow Kansans – the most honorable people I know.”
U.S. Senator Pat Roberts recalled Dole’s many accomplishments in Washington, including the Hospice Care Act (1981); numerous farm bills; Social Security Reform (1983); Americans with Disability Act (1990), Voting Rights Act (1965); and Bayh-Dole Act (1980).
“The truth is Bob’s fingerprints have been on almost every piece of legislation prior to and during his year s of leadership – either in support, changing it for the better or giving it a proper burial,” Sen. Roberts said. “We all come to Washington to make a difference. Senator Bob Dole did just that.”
Bill Lacy served as the event’s emcee. Rev. Fred Holloman delivered the Invocation. The Topeka High School JROTC posted the flags while the Washburn University Ensemble sang the national anthem. Other speakers included Kansas Historical Foundation President E.Dean Carlson and General Richard Meyers (Ret.).
American flags lined the Statehouse grounds today in honor of Sen. Dole. Members of the combined USD 501 JROTC PROGRAMS placed the flags into each position with precision. These programs are the U.S. Army program located at Topeka West High School, the U.S. Marines located at Topeka High School, and the U.S. Air Force represented by Highland Park High School.