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CNN Live Event/Special
The Funeral Of Senator Bob Dole. Aired 12:30-1p ET
Aired December 10, 2021 - 12:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JOHN D. KEMP, LONGTIME FRIEND OF BOB DOLE: Readings from the New Testament. And one of the scribes came up and asked him, which commandment is the first of all? Jesus answered, you shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. The second is this. You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these. Love is patient. Love is kind. It does not envy. It does not boast. It is not proud. It is not rude. It is not self-seeking. It is not easily angered. It keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. He who does not love does not know God. For God is love. The word of the Lord.
CROWD: Thanks be to God.
SHEILA P. BURKE, SERVED AS CHIEF OF STAFF TO BOB DOLE IN SENATE: Mr. President and Mr. -- Madam Vice President, distinguished guests, and Dole staff. Having served with Senator Dole for 20 years, I am honored to read a poem by Linda Ellis that Senator Dole often included in his speeches in later years, I believe we will hear in these words, a description of the man whose life, whose leadership, and whose legacy we celebrate today. I read of a man who stood to speak at the funeral of a friend. He referred to the dates on the tombstone from the beginning to the end, he noted first came the date of the birth and spoke the following day with tears.
But he said what mattered most of all, was the dash between the years. For that dash represents all the time that they spent life on Earth. And now only those who love them know what that little line is worth. For it matters not how much we own, the cars, the house, the cash. What matters is how we live in love, and how we spend our dash. So think about this long and hard. Are there things you'd like to change? For you never know how much time is left, that still can be rearranged. If we could just slow down enough to consider what's true and real and always try to understand the way other people feel.
Be less quick to anger and show appreciation more and love the people in our lives, like we've never loved before. If we treat each other with respect and more often wear a smile remembering that this special dash might only last a little while. So when your eulogy is being read with your life's actions to rehash, would you be proud of the things they say about how you spent your dash?
BARRY BLACK, CHAPLAIN OF THE UNITED STATES SENATE: President Biden, Vice President Harris, distinguished guest, beloved Elizabeth, and thank you Robin for reminding me that your dad loved brevity.
I grew to love. My brother in Christ, Robert Joseph Dole. I am entering my 19th here in the Senate. And one of the high points though I came after the Honorable Robert Dole had left was to meet Elizabeth. Elizabeth is one of the most ethnically congruent people I know. To know you is to love you. I know the many phone calls and how I have been blessed by our friendship. Your spirituality dwarfs my own but it rubbed off on Bob.
I used to have certain rendezvoused with Bob in this very cathedral. So many memorial services he was here sometimes pushed in a wheelchair. But I would at the end of the service boat around the side of the cathedral for our rendezvous at before. We really got to know one another well, particularly when we were -- I was able to work with him on the World War II Memorial and learn so much from this great patriot.
As I listened to the readings, I thought about him. What an appropriate reading for the Old Testament. Isaiah 40:31, they that wait on the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings as Eagles run and not be weary, walk and not faint. I used to wonder, did we get that right? It seems it should be run and not faint, walk and not be weary, but the pedestrian and prosaic movements of life can often push you to the point of fainting far more than those emergency moments with the adrenaline rush.
And then what a beautiful passage for the New Testament love, a God pay, attending, creative, redemptive, goodwill for humanity, which describes the life and legacy of Robert Dole. I'm still working on calling him Bob. I still can't do that, Elizabeth.
I remember, Elizabeth, when we had a conversation, and you put Bob, you said, let me put Bob on the phone and I had the beatific experience of having a conference call with spiritual royalty. And at the end, I had a sense that Bob knew he was cared for by a great shepherd. So I'd like to toss in another verse. Psalm 23 verse 4, even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil. For you are with me. You're right rod, and your staff, they comfort me.
I believe my beloved brother in Christ knew he was cared for by a great shepherd. A shepherd who said in John 10:11, I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives his life for the sheep. Bob was a covert spiritual agent. He did not wear his religion on his sleeves. He resonated with the sentiment of Francis of Assisi. Preach the Gospel everywhere you go, when necessary, use words.
He believed the sentiment of Ed Goodgest (ph). I'd rather see your sermon than hear it in a day. I'd rather it should walk with me than merely tell the way. This covert spiritual agent believed that he was cared for by a great shepherd who left the chance of cherubim and seraphim, and a rain bow in circled thrown in a land where night never comes to make a breakthrough at Bethlehem, to see about Bob, to see about you, to see about me.
And he could say, even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for you are with me. He knew I firmly believe, Elizabeth, he knew that there was brevity, as Robin put it, in that valley. I'm not going to be walking around in that valley. I'm not going to be having a picnic in that valley. Yey, though I walk, remember they will walk and not faint. Yey, though I walk through. It's temporary. He knew that he was not in that valley to stay. Our 2 Corinthians 5:1 says, if this earthly tent that we live in is destroyed, praise God, we have a building not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
He knew that. He knew that there was light in the valley of shadows. You cannot have shadows without light to project the shadow. And he could say with the psalter, in the 27th Psalm, the Lord is my light and my salvation, whom then shall I fear? He served as Savior who said, I am the light of the world. But there was one other thing he knew. He knew. He knew that there was comfort in that valley. And we've talked about this day coming. He knew that was comfort for us.
That Shepherd, he loves so much and we love so much once said, Matthew 11:27 and onward, come unto me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me for I am meek and lowly in heart. And you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy. My burden is light.
I remember when you told me that he died and you're sleep. And I said what a transition. And those words of William Cullen Bryant, immediately leap to my mind for he was telling us how we should aspire to transition. The road so live that when you're summon comes to join that innumerable caravan where each must take his chamber in the solemn halls of death, go thou not like the quarry slaved scourge through his dungeon at night. But sustained and soothed by an unfaltering trust. Here it is. Here's Bob. Approach thy grave as one who wraps the drapery of his couch about him and lies down to pleasant dreams.
My brother in Jesus Christ, requiescat in pace, rest in peace.
REV. RANDOLPH HOLLERITH, DEAN, WASHINGTON NATIONAL CATHEDRAL: For our brother, Bob, let us pray to our Lord Jesus Christ who said, I am resurrection and I am life. Lord, you consoled Martha and Mary in their distress. Draw near to us who mourn for Bob, and dry the tears of those who weep.
CROWD: Hear us Lord.
HOLLERITH: You wept at the grave of Lazarus, your friend, comfort us in our sorrow.
CROWD: Hear us Lord.
HOLLERITH: You raised the dead to life. Give to our brother eternal life.
CROWD: Hear us Lord.
HOLLERITH: You promised paradise to the thief who repented, bring our brother to the joys of heaven.
CROWD: Hear us Lord.
HOLLERITH: Our brother was washed in baptism and anointed with the Holy Spirit. Give him fellowship with all your saints.
CROWD: Hear us Lord.
HOLLERITH: Comfort us in our sorrows at the death of our brother, that our faith be our constellation and eternal life, our hope. Father of all we pray to you for Bob, and for all those whom we love, but see no longer. Grant to them eternal rest, let light perpetual shine upon them. May his soul and the souls of all the departed through the mercy of God, rest in peace.
REV. JAN NAYLOR COPE, PROVOST, WASHINGTON NATIONAL CATHEDRAL: Give rest, O Christ, to your servant with your saints.
CROWD: Where sorrow and pain are no more, neither sighing, but life everlasting.
HOLLERITH: You only are a mortal, the Creator and Maker of mankind. Then we are mortal formed of the earth and to earth shall we return. For so did you ordain when you created me saying you are dust, and to dust you shall return. All of us go down to the dust. Yet even at the grave, we make our song, hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah.
CROWD: Give rest, O Christ, to your servant with your saints where sorrow and pain are no more, neither sighing, but life everlasting.
REV. MARIANN BUDDE, BISHOP, EPISCOPAL DIOCESE OF WASHINGTON: Into your hands, oh merciful Savior, we commend your servant, Bob. Acknowledge we humbly beseech you, a sheep of your own fold, a lamb of your own flock, a sinner of your own redeeming. Receive him into the arms of your mercy into the blessed rest of everlasting peace, and into the glorious company of the saints in light.
[12:59:40] REV. MICHAEL CURRY, PRESIDING BISHOP AND PRIMATE, THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH: Now, go forth into the world in peace, be strong and of good courage. Hold fast to that which is good. Render to know one evil for evil. But love the Lord, your God. Love your neighbor. Love yourself. And the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, beyond you and remain with you.