Washington Pays Respects To George H.W. Bush

Remembering Former President Bush Crowds lined up outside the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C., as the casket of former president George H.W. Bush arrived ahead of a state...

Remembering Former President Bush

Crowds lined up outside the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C., as the casket of former president George H.W. Bush arrived ahead of a state funeral Wednesday at the National Cathedral.

The 41st U.S. president died last Friday at the age of 94 at his home in Houston, Tex.

With hands on hearts, dignitaries, politicians and family members, including son George W. Bush and wife Laura, stood on the Capitol steps to watch as the flag-draped casket was carried inside. Nearby, a 21-gun salute rang out.

George Bush Sr. was also sent off with a 21-gun salute as he left his beloved Texas on Monday for the trip to Washington as the U.S. paid tribute to his life of public service that began in the navy during the Second World War, ended with four years as the country’s leader, and was characterized throughout by what admirers say was decency, generosity and kindness.

A long motorcade accompanied the hearse carrying Bush’s body from a Houston funeral home to nearby Ellington Field for the trip to the nation’s capital on an aircraft that often serves as Air Force One. Military artillery fired the salute, and servicemen carried the casket to the plane.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the first official to speak in the Capitol Rotunda, described Bush as a “humble servant” and “a principled leader.”

“Throughout his life of service, President Bush personified grace,” said Speaker Paul Ryan, during a eulogy address in the Capitol.

Later Monday evening, after the family and dignitaries had departed, President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump paid their respects, standing for two minutes before the casket.

Bush, who was president from 1989 to 1993, will lie in state beneath the soaring U.S. Capitol rotunda for a ceremony and public visitation from Monday through Wednesday. An invitation-only funeral service is set for Wednesday at Washington National Cathedral. The president and his wife are scheduled to attend.

Afterward, Bush’s body will be returned to Houston to lie in repose at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church before burial Thursday at his family plot on the library grounds. His final resting place will be alongside Barbara Bush, his wife of 73 years who died in April, and Robin Bush, the daughter they lost to leukemia in 1953 at age three.

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