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Bush to lie in state in U.S. Capitol

by Lynde Langdon
Posted 12/01/18, 03:34 pm

UPDATE: The body of former President George H.W. Bush will lie in state in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda next week. Congressional leaders from both parties announced plans for an arrival ceremony for the casket of the former president Monday at 5 p.m. The public is invited to pay respects from 7:30 p.m. Monday through 7 a.m. Wednesday. The Bush family has not announced further details about arrangements for the former president, who died Friday at age 94, other than the location of the funeral at Washington National Cathedral. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump are planning to attend.

OUR EARLIER REPORT (10:48 a.m.): Condolences poured in from the highest levels of U.S. government and around the world following the death of former President George H.W. Bush, who died Friday night at age 94. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump issued a statement late Friday calling the 41st president a man of “sound judgment, common sense and unflappable leadership.”

“President Bush guided our nation and the world to a peaceful and victorious conclusion of the Cold War,” the Trumps wrote. “As President, he set the stage for the decades of prosperity that have followed.” The White House said the Trumps would attend a state funeral for Bush at Washington’s National Cathedral on a day yet to be determined. And the president will declare Wednesday a national day of mourning.

Former presidents also offered their sympathy to the Bush family.

“George H.W. Bush’s life is a testament to the notion that public service is a noble, joyous calling. And he did tremendous good along the journey,” former President Barack Obama said. Former President Bill Clinton, who forged a bond with Bush after leaving the White House, remarked, “I will be forever grateful for the friendship we formed. From the moment I met him as a young governor invited to his home in Kennebunkport, I was struck by the kindness he showed to Chelsea, by his innate and genuine decency, and by his devotion to Barbara, his children, and their growing brood.”

Current international leaders remembered Bush’s strong leadership on the world stage. British Prime Minister Theresa May said in a statement that Bush was “a great statesman and a true friend of our country” whose “ethos of public service was the guiding thread of his life and an example to us all.” And European Union Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said Europe would never forget the role Bush played in making it “a safer and more united place following the fall of the Berlin Wall and the Iron Curtain.”

Those who led alongside the 41st president of the United States recalled his warmth and determination. Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev said that he and his wife, Raisa, “deeply appreciated the attention, kindness, and simplicity typical of George and Barbara Bush, as well as the rest of their large, friendly family.”

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Lynde Langdon

Lynde is a WORLD Digital’s managing editor and reports on popular and fine arts. She lives in Wichita, Kan., with her husband and two daughters. Follow Lynde on Twitter @lmlangdon.

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