Thousands — from former presidents to foreign dignitaries — gathered at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, to honor the life and legacy offormer President George H.W. Bush.
FormerPresident George W. Bush eulogized his father in a moving speech, as did other longtime friends of the Bush family.
“He looked for the good in each person, and he usually found it,” the younger Bush said of his father.
President Trump has declared Wednesday a national day of mourning, as the nation remembers its 41st president. The body of Mr. Bush, which has been lying in state in the U.S. Capitol, travels back to Texas Wednesday afternoon. Follow along below for updates from earlier.
In 2011, Bush 41 wondered if anyone would attend his funeral. Thousands did
In 2011, when former President George H.W. Bush was briefed on plans for him to lie in state and for his funeral, the 41st president wondered if anyone would come, Bush family spokesman Jim McGrath said.
They did — by the thousands.
Bush’s casket makes one final flight
After one final 21-gun salute, the late president’s casket took off from Joint Base Andrews in Maryland for one final flight to Texas.
There, a smaller memorial service will take place for the late president.
Trump leaves during final hymn
Mr. Trump left the cathedral during the final hymn, and his motorcade began to head back to the White House, according to the White House press pool.
Casket carried out of cathedral
The casket was slowly carried out of the cathedral by members of the military.
Mr. Bush’s body will travel to Texas Wednesday afternoon.
Former President George W. Bush delivers moving eulogy
Former President George W. Bush took to the podium to eulogize his father. The two are one of the rare father-son presidential duos.
The 43rd president said his father’s many close calls gave him an appreciation for life. He loved the little things, like the outdoors, or sitting on the back porch contemplating the majesty of the Atlantic.
“The horizons he saw were bright and hopeful,” the 43rd president said.
Bush also recalled how good of a friend former Secretary of State James Baker was to him.
“In his 90s, he took great delight when his closest pal, James A. Baker, smuggled a bottle of Grey Goose vodka into his hospital room. Apparently,it paired well with the steak he had delivered from Morton’s,” the 43rd president said.
Bush recalled his father’s final hours.
“Last Friday when I was told he had minutes to live, I called him,” Bush said.
“I said ‘Dad, I love you and you’ve been a wonderful father.’ And the last words he would ever say on earth were, ‘I love you, too,'” he added.
Bush wrapped up his remarks by saying he knows his father will again be holding his daughter, Robin, again, and holding Barbara Bush’s hand.
“In our grief, let us smile knowing that dad is hugging Robin and holding mom’s hand again,” the 43rd president said.
Read Bush 43rd’s speech about his father:
Former Canadian prime minister remembers Bush
Former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, whose tenure as prime minister coincided with Mr. Bush’s presidency,remembered his time working alongside Mr. Bush.
“I believe it will be said that no occupant of the Oval Office was more courageous, more principled and more honorable than George Herbert Walker Bush,” he said.
Jenna Bush Hager reads from Revelations 21
Mr. Bush’s granddaughter Jenna Bush Hager — who is both the daughter and granddaughter of presidents — read from Revelations 21.
“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away,” she read with emotion.
Meacham recalls the time Bush shook a mannequin’s hand
Presidential biographer Jon Meacham recalled with humor the time Mr. Bush shook a mannequin’s hand when looking for votes on the campaign trail. He soon realized his mistake.
“On the primary campaign trail in New Hampshire once, he grabbed the hand of a department store mannequin asking for votes. When he realized his mistake, he said, ‘Never know. Gotta ask,'” Meacham remembered.
Biographer Jon Meacham says Bush 41 was an “imperfect” man who left a “more perfect” union
Presidential biographerJon Meachamdelivered the first remarks about the former president.
“An imperfect man, he left us a more perfect union,” he said.
Meacham said the former president taught others to heed not their worst instincts, but to live to be their best selves.
Meacham also spoke of the tender relationship Mr. Bush and Barbara Bush had. She said he was the only man she ever kissed, a comment that repulsed her children.
Funeral program details
Here is the program outline for the 41st president’s funeral:
- Lauren Bush Lauren and Ashley Walker Bush reading, Isaiah 60:1-5, 18-20
- Presidential historian and author Jon Meacham delivers tribute
- Jenna Bush Hager reading, Revelation 21:1-4; 6-7; 23-25
- Former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney delivers tribute
- Former Sen. Alan Simpson delivers tribute
- Ronan Tynan sings anthem
- Former Pres. George W. Bush delivers tribute
- Rev. Randolph Marshall Hollerith, Dean of National Cathedral delivers Gospel
- Rev. Russell Levenson, Jr., Rector of St. Martin’s Episcopal Church, Houston, delivers homily
Casket carried into cathedral in procession
The casket of the former president was carried solemnly by members of the military into the cathedral, as an emotional former President George W. Bush looked on.
Former President George W. Bush enters cathedral
Former President George W. Bush entered the cathedral at 11:13 a.m., alongside former first lady Laura Bush. He shook the hands of Mr. Trump and the first lady, along with all the other former presidents and first ladies seated in the front row of the cathedral.
As the first hymn together began, George H.W. Bush looked on at first, not singing.
Former President George W. Bush appears to hand Michelle Obama a piece of candy
When President George W. Bush greeted former presidents and their spouses at the funeral for his father, George H.W. Bush, he offered more than a handshake to former first lady Michelle Obama.He appeared to slip her a piece of candy, causing Obama to break out in a wide smile.
Bush family walks into cathedral
The Bush family walked solemnly down the middle of the cathedral towards the front shortly after 11 a.m.
Trump and First Lady Melania Trump arrive
With barely 10 minutes to spare and nearly everyone else seated, President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump arrived in the cathedral.
Mr. Trump exchanged cordial, but not warm, handshakes with former President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama, as he took his seat. The first lady is seated in between them.
Clintons arrive at cathedral
Former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, along with their daughter, Chelsea, were pictured in the cathedral at roughly 10:30 a.m. They interacted with the Obamas briefly, along with other dignitaries.
The Obamas arrive at National Cathedral
Former President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama are in the National Cathedral. The Obamas interacted briefly with Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen Pence.
Prince Charles spotted in National Cathedral
England’s Prince Charles was spotted in the National Cathedral Wednesday morning, speaking with Major Gen. Colin Powell.
Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh in cathedral
Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, whose confirmation process was a battle this fall, is in attendance at the National Cathedral.
Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner in National Cathedral
President Trump’s daughter and senior aide Ivanka Trump, and Trump son-in-law and senior aide Jared Kushner were spotted in the National Cathedral.
The current president and first lady are expected to leave the White House shortly.
Former President George W. Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush leave Blair House
Former President George W. Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush departed Blair House en route to the National Cathedral shortly before 10 a.m.
Peyton Manning, Phil Michelson arrive
Former NFL star Peyton Manning and golf pro Phil Michelson arrived at the cathedral Wednesday morning.
Manning also visited Bush’s casket on Tuesday.
Thousands visited Bush’s casket in the Capitol
From Monday afternoon through Wednesday morning, thousands of people filed through the Capitol Rotunda to pay their respects to the former president.
One of the most poignant moments came Tuesday, when Mr. Bush’s former political rival and fellow World War II veteran Bob Dole stood from his wheelchair to pay his respects.
Dole salutes Bush
Former Bush political rival and fellow World War II veteran Bob Dole stood to pay his respects to the former president on Tuesday, in what became one of the most poignant moments of the viewing of his casket.
National Cathedral begins to fill up
Long before the funeral was set to begin, guests began arriving at the National Cathedral to remember the former president.
According to the Bush family spokesman, the cathedral seats more than 3,000 people, and they expect it to be filled to capacity.
Trump tweets his respect for Bush 41
Mr. Trump tweeted Wednesday morning that he looks forward to celebrating the life of the former president with the Bush family.
Mr. Trump and First Lady Melania Trump made a brief visit to Blair House to visit with the Bushes Tuesday, and the first lady and former first lady Laura Bush toured the White House Christmas decorations.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel visits Blair House
German Chancellor Angela Merkel visited the Bush family at Blair House early Wednesday morning. She is expected to attend the funeral.
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