U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Statement on the passing of former Senator Bob Dole

Bob Dole and his wife, Elizabeth Dole, pose for a photo during an honorary promotion ceremony in honor of Bob Dole at the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C., May 15, 2019.

All of us at VA are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of a brave man and a patriot, Senator Bob Dole. His death is a loss for our entire country.


Senator Dole courageously fought on the fields of battle during World War II, and, later, helped shape our Nation on the legislative fields of Congress. As a Soldier, Senator, and statesman, he stood among the greatest of our “Greatest Generation.” His enduring commitment to his brothers-in-arms, and to their heroic service and sacrifice, is evidenced by the soaring arches and pillars of the World War II Memorial that graces our National Mall—which may not stand today without his advocacy. And his lifelong dedication to Veterans is evidenced by the thousands of Vets, families, caregivers, and survivors whose lives he has touched over the decades. 


In a life filled with honors and accolades, Senator Dole once said that, “No honor that has come my way has ever surpassed the pride I felt wearing my country’s uniform.” He also said that, “When it’s all over, it’s not who you were, what you did, or how much money you had. It’s whether you . . . made a difference.” There can be no doubt that Senator Dole made a difference—for his country, its people, and its Veterans. 


On behalf the Department of Veterans Affairs, we honor the memory of a great American—Senator Bob Dole. Our hearts go out to Senator Elizabeth Dole—a tireless fighter for caregivers and partner to VA—and to all who loved him. May God rest his soul. 


Denis McDonough, Secretary of Veterans Affairs


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