Former senator Robert Dole will lie in state in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda on Thursday where President Joe Biden, who served with Dole in the Senate, delivered remarks about the World War II vet and presidential candidate.
Dole’s casket was moved into the Capitol just before 10 a.m. ET and placed on the Lincoln catafalque. Biden, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, all offered remarks honoring their former colleague and one-time Republican nominee for president.
Dole will lie in state until Friday morning.
Dole, who was injured in World War II and was awarded two Purple Hearts, represented Kansas in the U.S. Senate for 27 years, from 1969 to 1996. He served as Senate majority leader for more than a decade.
He ran for president three times — eventually getting the Republican nomination — but lost to incumbent Bill Clinton in 1996.
Dole will be afforded the honor that only a handful have received in the country’s history. To lie in state is an honor reserved for “government officials and military officers,” of which Dole was both.
What does it mean to lie in state? Here’s a look at who is eligible and who has been given that honor.
Who is eligible to lie in state or in honor?
According to the Architect of the Capitol, a congressional resolution or approval by congressional leadership is necessary for a person to lie in state or lie in honor at the Capitol.
What is the difference between lying in state and lying in honor?
Government officials or military leaders lie in state. Private citizens lie in honor.
Where does the casket rest in the Capitol?
The casket is placed in the Rotunda of the Capitol. The Rotunda is a circular room in the center of the building that sits directly beneath the Capitol dome, according to the Architect of the Capitol website. It is 96 feet in diameter and rises 180 feet from the floor to the canopy. The website says the volume of Rotunda is around 1.3 million cubic feet.
For those lying in state, the casket rests on the catafalque (coffin support) that was constructed for the coffin of Abraham Lincoln.
According to the Architect of the Capitol, “since 1865, most services have used that catafalque.”
Who has either lain in state or lain in honor in the Capitol?
Here is a list of those who have either lain in state or lain in honor in the Rotunda of the United States Capitol:
Lain in state
James Abram Garfield
John Alexander Logan
Pierre Charles L’Enfant
Unknown Soldier of World War I
Warren Gamaliel Harding
William Howard Taft
John Joseph Pershing
Robert Alphonso Taft
3 Unknown Soldiers of World War II and the Korean War
John Fitzgerald Kennedy
Herbert Clark Hoover
Dwight David Eisenhower
Everett McKinley Dirksen
J. Edgar Hoover
Lyndon Baines Johnson
Hubert Horatio Humphrey
Unknown Soldier of the Vietnam Era
Claude Denson Pepper
Ronald Wilson Reagan
Gerald R. Ford, Jr.
Daniel K. Inouye
George H.W. Bush
John R. Lewis
Lain in honor
Jacob Joseph Chestnut
John Michael Gibson
Officer William F. Evans
Officer Brian D. Sicknick
What are the plans for Dole’s funeral?
A memorial service will be held Friday at 10 a.m. at the Washington National Cathedral. It will be livestreamed via the Washington National Cathedral’s YouTube page.
After the service, Dole’s casket will be taken from the Cathedral and the hearse will pause at the World War II Memorial on the National Mall for a public ceremony.
Gen. Mark Milley, Tom Hanks and Savannah Guthrie will offer remarks at the memorial, and Sen. Elizabeth Dole will lay a wreath in her husband’s honor.
Following the World War II Memorial ceremony, Dole’s remains will be transferred to Joint Base Andrews, Maryland to be taken to Kansas. A departure ceremony will take place at approximately 2:35 p.m. Dole’s casket will arrive at Salina Regional Airport Friday evening.
A public viewing will be held Saturday from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at St. Mary Queen of Angels Catholic Church in Russell, Kansas. A service will follow at 11 a.m. At 1 p.m., Dole’s casket will depart for Topeka, Kansas.
At 4 p.m. Dole’s casket will be placed at the Kansas State Capitol, where a service will follow.
After the service, Dole’s remains will be returned to Washington, D.C. where they will be interred.