RUSSELL (KSNT) – The late Kansas Senator Bob Dole returned home Saturday to Russell, Kansas after being honored at the National Cathedral and the World War II Memorial on the Washington Mall Friday.
At 4:30 p.m. in Topeka, Gov. Laura Kelly and a delegation of Kansas officials received Dole’s casket at the Kansas State Capitol. Kansas ROTC cadets provided an honor cordon as the Kansas National Guard Casket Team carried the casket to its position of repose on the second level.
Dole passed away Sunday at the age of 98. His death comes less than a year after he announced he had stage 4 lung cancer.
A public viewing was held at St. Mary Queen of Angels Catholic Church in Russell on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. with a service at 11 a.m. with tribute remarks from Senators Pat Roberts, Jerry Moran, and Roger Marshall.
A public ceremony took place in the Capitol Rotunda and included remarks by Governor Kelly. Senators Roger Marshall, Jerry Moran, Nancy Kassebaum Baker, and former Congressman James Slattery.
After the service, Senator Dole’s casket and family returned to Washington, D.C.
Dole will be buried in Arlington National Cemetery, but his casket was flown to Salina, Kansas, then transported 70 miles (113 kilometers) west to his boyhood hometown, which now has about 4,400 residents.
The officer in charge of Dole’s Kansas funeral services Bryan Gregory said this weekend’s ceremonies will reflect the professionalism and dedication to service he showed throughout his life.
“It’s an opportunity for us to do that,” Bryan Gregory, U.S. Army Joint Funeral Honors Detail, said. “Once a soldier, always a soldier. We say soldier for life and so that’s an opportunity for us to show that support to him and his family, as his final opportunity.”