State funeral honors Bush legacy
by Harvest Prude
Posted 12/05/18, 01:28 pm
WASHINGTON—After several days of remembrance, the nation said farewell to former President George H.W. Bush at his state funeral Wednesday at Washington National Cathedral. The nation’s 41st president died Friday at age 94. The funeral, saturated with the Word of God spoken and sung, included tributes to Bush’s war service, sense of humor, statesmanship, and faith. Scripture readings from Isaiah and Revelation were interspersed with the singing and playing of hymns, including “The King of Love My Shepherd Is” and “O God, Our Help in Ages Past.”
Members of the Bush family in attendance included his children, former President George W. Bush, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Dorothy Bush Koch, Neil Bush, Marvin Bush and their spouses. President Donald Trump and all four living former presidents attended, with Trump and first lady Melania Trump sitting in the front pew with Barack and Michelle Obama, Bill and Hillary Clinton, and Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter. Foreign dignitaries, including heir to the British throne Prince Charles, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and King Abdullah II of Jordan also were in attendance.
Former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, former Sen. Alan Simpson, R-Wyo., and presidential historian Jon Meacham joined Bush’s eldest son, the 43rd president of the United States, in giving eulogies. Meacham said Bush was “America’s last great soldier-statesman. A 20th century founding father.” Simpson recalled his sense of humor and loyalty to family and friends. In a tribute that ended with tears, George W. Bush spoke of his dad’s “quiet faith.” He said the elder Bush “was sustained by the Almighty” when his daughter Pauline Robinson “Robin” Bush died of leukemia at age 3 in 1953.
The Rev. Russell Levenson Jr. of St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Houston, where Bush was a member, gave the homily, praising the former president’s love for his church and country.
Approximately 57,000 members of the public paid their respects while Bush’s body lay in state in the Capitol rotunda this week. Now his casket will be returned to Houston, where his body will lie in repose at St. Martin’s from late Wednesday to early Thursday. Burial will take place Thursday at his family plot on the grounds of his presidential library on the campus of Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas, alongside the graves of Barbara Bush, his wife of 73 years who died in April, and his daughter, Robin.
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Harvest is a graduate of the World Journalism Institute and a reporter for WORLD.