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'He’s earned our pride and our respect' | On day of his passing, Bob Dole remembered at World War II Memorial

On Sunday, the World War II Memorial served as a spot for others to reflect on the legacy of the veteran and longtime senator from Kansas.

WASHINGTON — At the World War II Memorial on Sunday evening, a pleasant sunset could be seen in the sky while families walked around the site and others posed for pictures.

In some areas, visitors took in the depictions of the war's moments on the walls as others read quotes by famous leaders adorning the memorial.

On Saturday mornings, Bob Dole would often be at the same memorial to greet veterans at the site he helped organize.

However, on Sunday, his death at the age of 98 brought a time for those who knew him to reflect.

"He embodied what was supposed to come out of World War II, which was a universal feeling of brotherhood and people trying to work together and cooperate," said Henry Brewster, who was visiting DC with his family from Alabama this weekend. "Seeing him pass makes me sad. I’m a partisan Democrat but I respect Bob Dole for the person he was.” 

To some, Dole was a vice presidential candidate in 1976 and the nominee for the Republican party in the 1996 presidential election.

He became a legend of the US Senate after representing Kansas in Congress for almost 30 years.

His leadership style and ability to work with the other side resonated with Brewster, who looked back on Dole's career on Sunday and wished similar feelings could be found today.

"He is a person who went through this experience that tore the world apart and he was an example of trying to bring things back together," he said. "He was always a person that could work with the other side. I miss that.” 

To others, Dole was a World War II veteran who often found the time to greet fellow soldiers and find the connection between them.

Dole was severely injured in the conflict but it didn't stop him from paving the way for the World War II Memorial decades later by raising donations for the site to open.

On Sunday, Swedish veteran Robert Humeur looked out over the memorial from the entrance honoring the war in the Pacific.

After serving alongside American troops in Afghanistan, Humeur told WUSA 9 that the memorial helped veterans like him think about his time in the military.

"To remember some of the friends I served with and why those of us who served actually did it," said Humeur, when asked why he visited the memorial on Sunday. "It’s very nice to remember. It brings back memories from service abroad.”

Humeur said everyone, not just Americans, could find a connection to the World War II Memorial due to its global impact.

Following Dole's passing, he said he was glad the memorial existed to honor those who served.

"I’m impressed by someone being able to muster the energy and gather people for doing something like this," Humeur said. "It’s an important place for remembering a lot of people who served and the hardship they went through.”

Moving forward, those who spoke to WUSA 9 said Dole would leave behind a lasting legacy with the memorial and leading by example.

"He gave a tremendous amount and I respect that," said Brewster. "He’s earned our pride and our respect.” 

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