With a Kansas wind threatening to blow the ceremony right down the street, the federal courthouse in Kansas City, Kan., was named in honor of former Sen. Bob Dole on Friday.
The building now will be called the Robert J. Dole United States Courthouse.More than 300 people attended the dedication ceremony. A parade of officials heaped praise upon Dole, who as the senior Kansas senator once had an office in the building.
Some of the comments were barely audible over the roar of the westerly wind whipping across the microphone.
"With four senators here I knew it was going to be windy, but this is ridiculous," quipped Sen. Pat Roberts before he and former Sen. Nancy Kassebaum-Baker unveiled a bronze plaque bearing Dole's likeness.
Woody Overton, regional administrator of the General Services Administration, said the building, which came in under budget and on time, "reflects the values of Senator Dole."
Mayor Carol Marinovich lauded Dole for helping secure the new courthouse and many programs that have helped the city. Gov. Bill Graves called Dole "the man who made public service honorable."
Dole told the crowd he has had a sandwich, a balcony and a camera named after him, but this was the only building.
Dole said the structure really should have been named for senior U.S. District Judge Earl E. O'Connor, who presided over the ceremony and oversaw construction for the court. Dole nominated O'Connor for the district court.
Dole said all citizens can take pride in the building, which represents color-blind justice.
"Let us not underestimate the danger to domestic tranquillity" from violence and drugs on the playgrounds and in the schools, Dole said. He called for tough legislation, courts and law enforcement to deal with violent young offenders.