A steady hand, staying the course’: George H.W. Bush is eulogized by Pence, McConnell and Ryan in somber Capitol Rotunda scenes as he lies in state, while Americans prepare to mourn his passing
- Former President George H.W. Bush’s body was brought into the U.S. Capitol on Monday evening to lie in state
- His flag-draped coffin was laid to rest on the catafalque built to rest the remains of Abraham Lincoln
- Politicians praised his service, his leadership, his modesty and his kindness as the Bush family looked on
- Senators, congressmen, cabinet secretaries, Supreme Court justices, and Vice President Pence were on hand to pay their respects
- His remains were transported by a motorcade Monday morning to a Texas Air National Guard base and loaded onto the jet that serves as Air Force One
- The jet landed hours later at Joint Base Andrews in a Maryland suburb of Washington, D.C., under the callsign ‘Special Air Mission 41’; Jeb Bush met George W. and Neil Bush there
- A group of 114 crew members from the USS George H.W. Bush, a modern aircraft carrier, stood at attention
- Casket arrived at the U.S. Capitol less than an hour later, with the hearse flanked by military units
- Bush will lie in state in the rotunda of the U.S. Capitol from Monday at 7:30 p.m. until Wednesday at 8:45 a.m.
- State funeral will include memorial service at 11 a.m. on Wednesday at the National Cathedral with President Trump in attendance but not speaking
- After the service, Bush’s casket will be flown to Houston for another service at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church, followed by another public viewing
- Private funeral service scheduled for Thursday with about 1,200 invited guests
- Motorcade will transport Bush’s casket to a train station north of Houston
- Union Pacific train will take about 2-1/2 hours to travel roughly 70 miles to College Station, Texas, home to Bush’s presidential library at Texas A&M University
- Locomotive has been painted with the number ‘4141’ in honor of the 41st president; casket will be in a train car with Plexiglas windows to allow people to see it during the trip
- Bush will be buried near Barbara, his wife of 73 years, and their daughter Robin, who died of leukemia at age 3
The remains of the late President George H.W. Bush arrived Monday to lie in state at the U.S. Capitol as family members, senators, congressmen, cabinet secretaries, Supreme Court justices, and Vice President Pence paid their respects.
Bush’s flag-draped coffin found its repose beneath the Capitol Dome, on the catafalque built to rest the remains of Abraham Lincoln, surrounded by paintings depicting the founding of the nation he once led.
The Naval Academy Glee Club serenaded the former president, a Navy pilot who was the last veteran to occupy the Oval Office.
Politicians praised his service, his leadership, his modesty and his kindness as the Bush family, including his son the former President George W. Bush, looked on.
Vice President Mike Pence paid tribute to the former president’s service – both in the military and the government.
But he also recalled Bush’s modesty and kindness, telling a story of a note Bush sent to his son Michael, a Marine aviator, only a few months ago.
‘He was so modest, in fact, he never wrote an autobiography but he left a record of his life in the thousands of letters he wrote,’ he said.
He recalled how he had written the former president – a Navy pilot – when his son received his gold wings, asking him ‘to sign a picture of a flight deck that I could give to my son.’
He added he wasn’t surprised when the requested photo came back signed with a note from Bush attached to it.
Bush told his son, he recalled, that: ‘Though we have not met I share the pride your father has in you – I wish you many CAVA days ahead.’
CAVA, the vide president explained, is a term Navy pilots use and means ceiling and visibility unlimited.
‘CAVU, in his own words describes his own life,’ Pence said.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Bush made a similar journey to the Capitol 30 years ago for his inauguration as the 41st President of the United States.
McConnell recalled Bush’s words from his inaugural address: ‘He said we met on democracy’s front porch … a good place to talk as neighbors and friends.’