Bob Dole Honored For Support of Veterans, World War II Memorial
WASHINGTON - Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today honored former Senate Majority Leader Robert J. Dole for his longtime support for veterans and instrumental role in establishing the World War II Memorial. In a ceremony on the national mall, Vice President Biden, Dr. Jill Biden, Secretary Salazar and a host of Dole's friends and family, dedicated a plaque in his honor that will be placed on the World War II Memorial.
"Bob Dole's valor on the battlefield in the mountains of Italy was no different than the moral courage in his public life," said Vice President Biden. "I learned from Bob Dole, going all the way back to 1972, that, although we have multiple obligations as a nation, we have only one truly sacred obligation. That is to prepare and equip those we send into battle with everything they need, and to care for these warriors and their families when they return."
"Bob Dole has given much to our country, both on the battlefield and in public office, where his work on behalf of our nation's veterans is unparalleled," Secretary Salazar said. "Today, we dedicate a plaque in his honor at the very memorial that he was so instrumental in creating. From now on, visitors to this hallowed site will be reminded of the contributions of a truly great American."
"I'm truly honored to receive this recognition," said Senator Dole. "But in reality today I represent all veterans, particularly my generation of World War II veterans who preserved liberty and freedom for us and for millions of others around the world."
Joining the Bidens and Salazar at the ceremony were U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye, U.S. Senator Pat Roberts, Former Senator Elizabeth Dole, Former HHS Secretary Donna Shalala, Former Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne and Tom Brokaw, who emceed the event.
The bronze plaque is 14" wide and 10" high and will be placed on a main access path to the World War II Memorial, near the visitor contact station.
Senator Dole, the longest serving Republican leader in the nation's history, served as chairman of the national campaign that raised private contributions that largely funded the construction of the World War II Memorial.
During the Second World War, Bob Dole was a platoon leader in the legendary Tenth Mountain Division in Italy. In 1945, he was gravely wounded on the battlefield and was decorated for heroic achievement, receiving two Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star with one oak leaf cluster.
The World War II Memorial honors the 16 million men and women who served in the armed forces during World War II, the more than 400,000 who died, and the millions who supported the war effort from home. Flanked by the Washington Monument to the east and the Lincoln Memorial to the west, the World War II memorial was first opened to the public on April 29, 2004.
For more information about visiting the memorial, please visit the National Park Service Web site at http://www.nps.gov/nwwm.