Former Sen. Bob Dole (R-Kan.) on Tuesday was helped out of his wheelchair so that he could stand in front of the casket of former President George H.W. Bush.

Dole, 95, paid his respects by saluting the 41st president, who will lie in state in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda until Wednesday morning.

Both men served in the military during the Second World War.

Bush’s spokesman, Jim McGrath, called Dole’s salute “a last, powerful gesture of respect from one member of the Greatest Generation, @SenatorDole, to another.”

Dole saluted his close friend Sen. Daniel K. Inouye when the Hawaii Democrat died in 2012.

“I wouldn’t want Danny to see me in a wheelchair,” Dole said at the time.


Dole and Bush faced off during the GOP presidential primary in 1988, and Bush later won the general election. They went on to work together on a variety of issues while Dole served as Senate Majority Leader during the Bush administration.

"Many people doubted I could serve the president since we had a rather rough campaign, but it wasn't true — because of the man he was, not because of me," Dole said in 2016. "I was proud to be his leader in the Senate because I liked what he stood for. He wanted to make America — well I won't say great again — I think that somebody else already said that.”

Dole, who was the GOP presidential nominee in 1996, called Bush a “dear friend” in a statement after his death, saying the former president brought “wisdom, a keen sense of mission and diplomacy, incomparable patriotism” to the American people.