Senator Bob Dole: Our Hero and Now Our Nation’s Hero Recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor

June 1, 2018

As many of our families know, President Bill Clinton and Senator Bob Dole responded to the call to raise $100 million to support the children who lost so much on 9/11. Together, they worked diligently to ensure that our families would have financial support when the time came for college, technical school or university. Their tireless work supported the children who lost parents on that day and those whose parents became permanently disabled due to their work on the rescue mission. 

This past January, Bob Dole was recognized as a hero, not only to our Fund, but to our nation. 

“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,” President Donald J. Trump said. 

The Congressional Gold Medal is the highest award a civilian can receive from Congress. Past recipients include veterans of the American Revolution, the African-American students of Little Rock Nine, and Mother Teresa. 

Below are excerpts from the remarks of Speaker Paul Ryan as he awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor to Senator Bob Dole: 

“Today, it is my honor to say that we award the congressional gold medal to the soldier, the legislator, the statesman from Kansas—Senator Bob Dole. 

“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 unrivaled courage. Bob Dole is one of those giants. 

“For the man from Russell, it was always a question of what he could do for others. Be it on the front lines of World War II or within the halls of Congress, Bob Dole has always stood by what is just and what is right. He was a resounding voice for the hungry and those with disabilities, negotiating some of the biggest reforms our social programs have seen. He’s also proven himself to be one of the greatest allies America’s veterans will ever know. In 1989, he stood in this very place to dedicate this flag for our prisoners of war and those missing in action. He has never stopped fighting for those who fight for us. “Bob Dole is as honorable as they come. It is this kind of American hero— the selfless, staunch defenders of those who can’t defend themselves—who don’t always get the recognition they deserve.

 “So today, may this celebration mark not only all he has done for those in this room … not only all he has done for those watching at home … but all he has done—and the impact he has made—for those who don’t even realize it was he who made it. 

“Senator Dole, because of you, America is better. On behalf of Congress and all Americans, thank you.” 

As America comes to a crossroads on pivotal issues from immigration and security at our borders to opioids and crumbling infrastructure in our heartland, our leaders should look to Dole’s example now perhaps more than ever before. 

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