Once a bitter political rival, Bob Dole salutes fellow veteran, friend George H.W. Bush

Credit: Drew Angerer

Credit: Drew Angerer

Former U.S. Sen. and Republican presidential nominee Bob Dole went to pay his final respects Tuesday to former political rival President George H.W. Bush, who is lying in state at the Capitol rotunda through Wednesday morning.

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Dole, 95, in a simple honor to an old friend and fellow veteran, struggled out of his wheelchair to stand with the help of an aide and salute Bush’s flag-draped casket.

Bush’s son, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, called it “incredible” in a social media post. “Thank you Senator Dole,” Bush said.

Dole, the former Senate majority leader and Republican nominee for president in 1996, campaigned against Bush twice for the Republican presidential nomination and the two men were once bitter political foes. The Chicago Tribune once described a "deep personal animosity" between the two men. Years later the two became friends.

Dole was among hundreds of family, friends, fellow former colleagues and members of the public who gathered Tuesday in the Capitol rotunda to pay their respects to the former president and Navy pilot, who died Friday at the age of 94.

>> Related: Photos: Family, friends, colleagues pay final respects to George H.W. Bush

Bush's body will lie in state until Wednesday morning. A memorial service is scheduled at Washington National Cathedral at 11 a.m. Bush's remains will then return to Texas for more ceremonies before his interment Thursday next to his wife, Barbara Bush, at the Bush Presidential Library at Texas A&M University next to his wife, Barbara Bush.

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