COLLEGE STATION, Texas (Reuters) – The physique of former U.S. President George H.W. Bush was delivered to the burial web site at his presidential library in Texas on Thursday after a funeral at a Houston church the place he was remembered by members of the family who knew him finest as “Gampy.”
Bush’s casket traveled by prepare from Houston to School Station, Texas, after which carried to the gravesite behind his library by a army honor guard, in a ceremony overseen by his son and former President George W. Bush.
Bush, the 41st U.S. president, died final week in Texas at 94. His stays had been flown to Texas on Wednesday following a state funeral on the Washington Nationwide Cathedral attended by President Donald Trump, the 4 dwelling former presidents and overseas leaders.
“The memorial was an attractive tribute to President Bush’s extraordinary life and a noble legacy to public service,” Trump stated at a Hanukkah reception on the White Home on Thursday. “He was a beautiful man. We are going to all the time bear in mind this nice statesman and beloved American patriot. He actually was very particular.”
Thursday’s funeral service in Houston was held at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church, the place Bush and former first woman Barbara Bush worshipped for greater than 5 many years, and took on a extra private tone with remarks by members of the family.
George W. Bush, who adopted his father to the White Home after President Invoice Clinton’s two phrases, sat in a entrance pew close to the flag-draped casket and joined in as some 1,000 mourners sang “America the Lovely.”
George P. Bush, son of former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and one of many former president’s 17 grandchildren, remembered fly fishing and sharing ice cream with the person he referred to as “Gampy.”
James Baker, a longtime pal who served as Bush’s secretary of state, eulogized the previous president as a peacemaker and “a really stunning human being.”
“He was not thought-about a talented speaker, however his deeds had been fairly eloquent and he demonstrated their eloquence by carving them into the arduous granite of historical past,” Baker stated.
Mourners laughed as Baker recalled how Bush would let him know a dialog was over: “‘Baker, when you’re so sensible, why am I president and also you’re not?’” His voice cracking at moments, Baker stated he was at his pal’s deathbed final week.
Raised in an Episcopalian household in Massachusetts, Bush fused his preppy New England background with the extra free-wheeling traits of his adoptive state of Texas, the place he moved as a younger man to work within the oil trade.
That blend was mirrored within the music heard at his funeral: the St. Martin’s Parish Choir sang “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” nation music star Reba McEntire carried out “The Lord’s Prayer,” and the casket was carried out of the church to the thunderous strains of “Onward Christian Troopers.”
Following the funeral service, Bush’s stays had been taken by prepare some 80 miles (130 km) northwest to School Station for the burial alongside his spouse, Barbara, who died in April, and their daughter Robin, who died of leukemia at age three in 1953.
Residents of small cities alongside the route gathered to wave on the prepare, a Union Pacific Corp (UNP.N) locomotive numbered 4141 and bearing the title “George Bush 41” on the aspect, because it handed.
Bush, a U.S. Navy aviator who narrowly escaped dying when he was shot down by Japanese forces over the Pacific Ocean throughout World Struggle Two, was honored with a 21-plane flyover in a “lacking man” formation earlier than he was carried to his gravesite for a non-public interment.A lightweight rain that had fallen for a lot of the day in School Station ended simply earlier than the prepare carrying his physique pulled into the station.
Bush was president from 1989 to 1993, navigating the collapse of the Soviet Union and expelling former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein’s forces from oil-rich Kuwait.
He supported the passage of the American with Disabilities Act, a serious civil rights regulation defending disabled individuals from discrimination.
A patrician determine who served as vice chairman to Ronald Reagan, Bush misplaced re-election to a second time period partially for failing to attach with strange People throughout an financial recession.
He has additionally been criticized for supporting powerful drug legal guidelines that led to the disproportionate incarceration of black individuals, in addition to what activists name an inadequate response to the AIDS epidemic.
However tributes in latest days have targeted on the previous Republican president as a person of integrity and kindness who represented an earlier period of civility in American politics.
Reporting by Loren Elliott in School Station, Texas; Further reporting by Liz Hampton in Houston and Gary McWilliams in Houston, Steve Holland in Washington and Jonathan Allen in New York; Writing by Dan Whitcomb in Los Angeles; Enhancing by Frances Kerry and Peter Cooney
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