Former President George H.W. Bush Honored During State Funeral
By Bill Galluccio
December 5, 2018
President George H.W. Bush was warmly remembered by family, friends, and dignitaries from around the world in a state funeral at the National Cathedral in Washington D.C.
Presidential historian Jon Meacham said that Bush was the last "soldier-statesman" who was always devoted to public service.
He "made our lives and the lives of nations freer, better, warmer and nobler. That was his mission. That was his heartbeat. And if we listen closely enough, we can hear that heartbeat even now, for it's the heartbeat of a lion, a lion who not only led us but who loved us."
Meacham said that Bush lived by the "the most American of creeds:"
"Tell the truth. Don't blame people. Be strong. Do your best. Try hard. Forgive. Stay the course."
Former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney said that when Bush was president "every leader in the world knew they were dealing with a gentleman."
He credited Bush with helping to get the Americans with Disabilities Act signed and his work helping to unify Germany after the fall of the Berlin Wall.
"There's a word for this: They call it 'leadership'."
Former Wyoming Senator Alan Simpson said that Bush treasured his family and friends, who helped him navigate the ups and downs of life.
"In George Bush's theme of life through the highs and lows, he would say, 'What we would do without family and friends?'"
Simpson said that Bush was fiercely loyal and his loyalty inspired others.
"His epitaph, perhaps just a single letter: The letter 'L' for loyalty," Simpson said in his eulogy for Bush. "It coursed through his blood. Loyalty to his country, loyalty to his family, loyalty to his friends, loyalty to the institutions of government."
Bush's son and 43rd President George W. Bush said that his father "showed me what it means to be a president"
"Your decency, sincerity and kind soul will stay with us forever. So through our tears, let us know the blessings of knowing and loving you, a great and noble man. The best father a son or daughter could have."
After the funeral, the coffin carrying the former president will be flown back to Texas aboard the plane normally known as Air Force One, but renamed Special Air Mission 41 for the flight. Bush will lie in repose at St. Martin's Episcopal Church in Houston from 7:45 p.m. Eastern until Thursday at 7:00 a.m. He will be laid to rest on Thursday morning during a private funeral service.
Donald Trump declared that December 5th will be a National Day of Mourning in honor of the 41st president.
Photo Getty Images