They say a picture is worth a thousand words. To me, this pictures speaks volumes of “The Greatest Generation”. While they had been political allies and rivals, it was their service to our country that brings a smile to my face.
This week, with the passing of President George Bush, we have heard quite a bit of information about him flying numerous combat missions and about the time he was shot down by the Japanese, during WW II.
Bob Dole served on the other side of the globe during WW II. He suffered permanent injuries when he was hit by German machine gun fire near Castel d’Aiano in the Apennine mountains southwest of Bologna, Italy.
When I look at the picture above, there are several things that come into my mind.
First is that there is an American patriot and hero laying in State in a coffin covered by a flag that both Bush and Dole sacrificed greatly for.
Next, I see another American patriot and hero being helped to stand out of his wheelchair.
Also, you see a left-handed salute (salutes are to be given with the right hand). You see, Dole can not salute with his right hand due to the injuries mentioned earlier.
Bob Dole paid the ultimate respect between two veterans, first by standing when it is nearly impossible for him to do at this point in his life, and then rendering a salute the only way possible – with his left hand.
This is a very proud moment in American history and a memory that I have that will last a lifetime.