Tom Hanks Emotionally Honors Bob Dole at World War II Ceremony

by Courtney Blackann

Most people know esteemed actor Tom Hanks for being down-to-earth and good natured. He showed that character Friday when he joined other political leaders as they honored the late senator Bob Dole in Washington, D.C. Hanks spoke at the event as he helped lay a wreath on a memorial at the National Mall. The Academy Award winner shared some beautiful words about Dole and his contributions to our nation.

While Hanks often pays respects to the veterans of our country, he’s also a genuine humanitarian. The “Captain Phillips” actor emotionally reflected on Dole’s service to the country during World War II.

The actor lauded Dole for sticking by his values “even when it gets you in trouble — because it will — but at least everyone will know how you stand, and what you stand for,” according to the New York Post.

Additionally, Hanks praised Dole’s hard work on getting funds for a World War II memorial, which opened in 2004 and sits at the heart of downtown D.C.

“He did all but mix the concrete himself,” Hanks said, “which he may have done had he had the use of that right arm.”

Further, the “Saving Private Ryan” actor also shared praises for Dole’s dedication and continual service throughout his 60+ years in the political arena. He referred to Dole as a “friend” and someone who cared deeply about the lasting impact of World War II. Bob Dole suffered great injury while serving overseas in Italy. He was a member of the Army and -at the time of the war- sustained injuries that prohibited him from using his right arm.

Tom Hanks Remembers Dole’s Contributions in World War II

“This memorial was not built only for the generation it honors, any more than it was erected to crow of their victory,” Hanks said. “Bob Dole called this a memorial to peace so that all generations would remember that peace is achieved in shared labor, by shared sacrifice, by volunteering for the shared duty if peace is to be won and if we Americans are to continue our pursuit of a more perfect nation in an imperfect world.”

Also in attendance at the service was Elizabeth Dole, the senator’s widow. Additionally, Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff spoke to Dole’s legacy.

“He almost died in World War II and he had a life of serving to defend this democracy,” he says, who reminded that Dole’s lasting endurance “showed us all what hope can do.”

Bob Dole served in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. He represented the state of Kansas and fought hard for it. Further, the senator ran for the presidency in 1996 but lost out by former president Bill Clinton. Dole passed away Sunday at the age of 98.