• "Dad's last words to me were ‘I love you, too,'" George W. Bush says in eulogy

    By: Kelly Healey , The Associated Press

    Updated:

    WASHINGTON - Friends and family gathered Wednesday at Washington National Cathedral under tight security for a funeral service honoring late President George H.W. Bush.

     

    Bush's son former President George W. Bush gave a eulogy, bidding a final Washington farewell to his father. The Bush patriarch died last week in Houston at age 94.

     

    “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. 

     

    Watch: George W. Bush delivers hearfelt euglogy

     

    The national funeral service will cap three days of remembrance by dignitaries and citizens. It will bring together world envoys, the four remaining ex-presidents and President Donald Trump.

     

    “Dad looked for the good in other people, and he usually found it,” George W. Bush said.


    REMEMBERING PRESIDENT BUSH:

     


    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.

    Special Section: Remembering George H.W. Bush

     

    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.

     

    Read: George H.W. Bush's service dog lies near casket

     

    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.

     

    Bush enjoyed a long, well-lived life with his wife of 73 years, Barbara Bush, by his side.

     

    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.”

     

    Read: How George and Barbara Bush stayed married for 73 years

     

    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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