So many moving things reflected the best of America during the entire week with the Bush family following the funeral of President George H.W. Bush. Tributes, beautiful music, and emotional testimonies from friends and families clearly stirred the hearts of those who watched.

Yet one specific event remains indelible for me. In an event no one seemed to anticipate, Senator Bob Dole stood at the casket of the former President.

One cannot observe such a thing without deep emotion and respect. In addition, one can’t help but admire the type of friendship on display in the U.S. Capitol’s rotunda.

Another Act of Service

At 95 years old, a wounded vet with a history of service to our country that few can imagine inspired America to pause. Bob Dole revealed that warriors and patriots never stop serving as examples and leaders. In defiance of cruel age – the ultimate adversary – the heart of Bob Dole demonstrated mettle worthy of a nation’s respect. It seemed that all who watched held our collective breaths, as he overruled his own attendant. As he willed himself from the chair, a nation felt awestruck. 

Bob Dole’s action appeals to the best of us— to aim higher. Bob Dole and George H.W. Bush disagreed strongly during their long years in service to our country, yet they aimed higher.

In a dramatic and teachable moment for a divided country, Bob Dole’s offered a valuable lesson.  His actions reminded us that while we can always find ways to disagree, we can also still find ways to build meaningful relationships.

Those two men toiled the path of reconciliation, friendship, and respect. As a result, what they forged elicited the kind of honor and valor demonstrated by Bob Dole. So much so that it transcended his physical limitations.

A Wounded Warrior’s Valor

Bob Dole’s service for America remains woven into 20th century history books. Yet, his service to humanity will be forever cemented in the hearts of those who saw a wounded warrior rise to attention. Saluting with a barely functioning left hand rather than a right one permanently stilled in the wars of a bygone era, Bob Dole honored a friend—and stood for a nation. While America mourned, a solitary soldier pierced our hearts. With devotion to a man he called friend. Bob Dole reflected a level of honor seldom witnessed in public. 

Although in the twilight of his stewardship of America’s safety and values, he offered yet one more lesson in valor from the greatest generation.  In doing so, he proved why they earned the title.

Senator Bob Dole and former President George HW Bush at the GOP convention in 2004.

(Madison Square Garden, NYC)

Gracie is seated behind them following her performance at the event. 

Peter Rosenberger is the president of Standing With Hope, the ministry he and his wife, Gracie, founded following the amputation of her legs. Through a prosthetic limb ministry and a nationally syndicated radio program for caregivers, they seek to reach the wounded, and those caring for them. @hope4caregiver