Hollywood royalty paid tribute to the late Senator Bob Dole on Friday as actor Tom Hanks participated in a wreath laying ceremony at the World War II Memorial on the National Mall in Washington.
In his remarks, the “Saving Private Ryan” star referred to what he called “big lessons” from Dole’s life, including speaking candidly “even when it gets you in trouble – because it will. – but at least everyone will know how you stack up, and what you stand for.
Hanks also recalled Dole’s near-fatal battlefield injuries – which cost him the full use of his right arm – and highlighted his “great friend” work in securing support and funding for the construction. of the WWII Memorial, which opened in 2004.
“He did everything except mix the concrete himself,” Hanks said of Dole, “which he might have done if he had had the use of that right arm.”
Hanks visited the memorial after attending the funeral of Dole, who died at the age of 98 on Sunday, at the Washington National Cathedral. He was joined at the memorial by Dole’s widow, former Senator Elizabeth Dole, who laid the wreath in honor of her late husband.
âThis memorial was not built just for the generation it honors, nor was it erected to celebrate their victory,â Hanks said. âBob Dole called it a peace memorial so that all generations will remember that peace is achieved through shared work, through shared sacrifice, by volunteering for shared duty if peace is to be won and if we Americans must continue our quest for a more perfect nation in an imperfect world.
General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, also spoke at the ceremony, calling Dole’s commitment to American democracy “unwavering.”
“He almost died in WWII and he dedicated his life to defending this democracy,” said Milley, who added that Dole suffered, endured and “showed us all what hope can do” .
Dole spent more than 35 years in Congress, including 27 in the Senate. Ahead of Friday morning’s funeral, Dole became the 33rd person to lie in the Capitol Rotunda. His casket was scheduled to be flown back to his home state of Kansas on Friday night for services in his hometown of Russell and the State Capitol in Topeka.