President Bush addresses the nation on television from the Oval Office in Washington on Wednesday, Dec. 20, 1989 as he explains his decision to deploy American troops to Panama.38
Members of the public file through the Capitol Rotunda to view the casket of the late former President George H.W. Bush as he lies in state, December 4, 2018 in Washington, DC. Drew Angerer/Getty Images19
Former President George Bush touches the flag-draped casket of his father, former President George H.W. Bush, as he prepares to speak during his State Funeral at the National Cathedral, Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, Pool)104
WASHINGTON - Friends and family gathered Wednesday at Washington National Cathedral under tight security for a funeral service honoring late President George H.W. Bush.
“For dad, his brushes with death made him cherish his gift of life and he lived his life to the fullest,” his son, former President George W. Bush, said during the eulogy.
“Dad looked for the good in other people, and he usually found it,” George W. Bush said.
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The hearse bearing the coffin of George H.W. Bush was slowly driven past the White House in a symbolic final nod at the building where he served as the nation's 41st president.
Bush's flag-draped coffin arrived at Washington National Cathedral at about 11 a.m. in a lengthy, slow-moving motorcade that transported his family, friends and dignitaries.
George W. Bush said his father's last words to him were, "I love you, too."
“(He was) the best father a son or daughter can have, and in our grief, I smile knowing that dad is hugging mom and holding mom’s hand again,” he said.
Thousands of mourners have been paying their respects to Bush at the Capitol since late Monday.
Bush's remains will be flown to Houston to lie in repose before a private burial Thursday at his family plot on the presidential library grounds at Texas A&M University in College Station.
The 41st president oversaw the post-Cold War transition and led a successful Gulf War, only to lose re-election in a generational shift to Bill Clinton in 1992.
When Bush turned 85, he decided to parachute out of an airplane. When asked about the wisdom of such a daring leap by a senior citizen, Bush replied, "Old guys can still do fun things.”
Barbara Bush, who died in April, married George H.W. Bush in 1945, making theirs the longest marriage of any presidential couple in American history.
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