This week I watched much of the memorial ceremonies for Senator Robert Dole on the extensive news coverage of the events. Bob Dole represents the near end of America’s “Greatest Generation”. I remember in my youth, his name was in the news a lot and it became iconic for reasons I didn’t then understand. He was a prominent statesman and even a presidential candidate. As a kid from the 80’s and early 90’s, I can honestly say that I was too young to truly appreciate his contributions to our nation.

And until recently, I still didn’t, until his passing and the coverage began of his earlier life. Bob Dole, before being a statesman and presidential candidate, was a war fighter. A soldier. And not just any type of soldier, but a wounded combat soldier. He lost the entire use of his right arm from shrapnel and had to relearn to both walk and write left handed. The wound included the removal of his collar bone. And his sacrifice and service was part of the Allies reclaiming Italy from tyranny. So much adversity to become an acclaimed politician. I find it so remarkable because he made himself a servant to his nation in so many ways.

The coverage of his passing made more sense to me when I was able to see the big picture, as an adult. What an American treasure… The pride that came from watching the ceremonies for Bob Dole became overwhelming. It made me ask myself, “What contributions can I make in the face of my adversities?” For a man who could only use one arm, his was countless.

by Rory Andes

The Greatest Generation is fading quickly…

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