Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Editorial: Bob Dole Is an American Hero

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Editorial: Bob Dole Is an American Hero

Article excerpt

The Congressional Gold Medal has been the United States' "highest expression of national appreciation for distinguished achievements and contributions" since the Revolutionary War. Last week, the Kansas Congressional delegation unanimously sponsored legislation in the Senate and House that would award the medal to Sen. Bob Dole. We can't think of anyone more deserving of the honor.

Dole's political career spanned almost five decades -- including eight years as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives and 27 years in the Senate -- and he's one of the best-known leaders to emerge from Kansas. From his service during World War II to his time in the Kansas House to his three and a half decades on Capitol Hill, Dole has spent almost his entire adult life in service to his country. While this has brought him tremendous success in politics -- he has been a candidate for president and vice president of the United States -- it has also forced him to endure hardships that many of us couldn't even imagine.

As a 21-year-old platoon leader fighting in the mountains of Italy, Dole was shot in his right shoulder and back. He was trying to pull a radio operator away from a hail of German machine gun fire when he was hit, and he was awarded two Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star for his bravery. It took three years and nine surgeries before Dole recovered, but he lost a kidney and the use of his right arm. He often holds a pen in his right hand to prevent his fingers from splaying and to remind people that he's unable to shake hands.

Dole's military service was one of the experiences that forged his character, and it has led him to become one of the country's most stalwart champions for veterans.

As national chairman of the World War II Memorial Commission, Dole was responsible for directing the effort to construct a memorial honoring the 16 million Americans who served during the war. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.