Former senator and congressman Bob Dole is lying in state in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda, in the building where he served more than three decades as a lawmaker from Kansas.
At a ceremony Thursday morning, President Biden, who served with Dole for 25 years in the Senate, remembered his former colleague as a great friend, as "a giant of our history" and a hero of democracy.
Dole died Dec. 5 at the age of 98.
With his widow, former Sen. Elizabeth Dole, and his daughter Robin looking on, Biden praised Dole for putting principle over party, saying the only way forward for democracy is through unity and consensus.
"May we follow his wisdom and his timeless truth," Biden said.
Congressional leaders also praised Dole. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell called him the last of the greatest generation to run for president — something he did, unsuccessfully, three times. He said Dole, severely wounded in World War II, "spent decades carrying fellow veterans and Americans with disabilities on his shoulders."
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer called Dole "a champion of those whose lives were marked by struggle."
Dole will lie in state through the day. A funeral service for him takes place Friday at the Washington National Cathedral. There will also be a ceremony at the World War II Memorial in Washington, and then Dole's remains will be flown to his home state of Kansas for ceremonies there.
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