Bush also spoke directly to “the young people of America.” He asked them “not to be deterred, kept away from public service by the smoke and fire of a campaign year or the ugliness of politics.” He urged them “to participate in the political process. It needs your idealism. It needs your drive. It needs your conviction.”
On Dec. 5, 2018, Trump declared a national day of mourning over the death of President Bush at age 94—two days before the anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack and the day Roosevelt said would live in infamy.
Bush once spoke at the Pearl Harbor National Memorial in Hawaii. A World War II veteran himself, he choked up remembering ordinary soldiers dying to defend their country—“the boys who this day became men and men who became heroes.” And he quoted from “Eternal Father, Strong to Save,” a hymn that eventually became known as the “Navy Hymn.”
This year, during a season of political, social, and personal turbulence, the hymn seems fitting as an Advent plea for truly safe harbor: “O Savior, whose almighty word / The winds and waves submissive heard, / Who walkedst on the foaming deep / And calm amid its rage didst sleep: / O hear us when we cry to thee / For those in peril on the sea.”
—WORLD has updated this story to correct the quote from President Franklin Roosevelt.