Bush Sr.’s coffin back in Texas for final farewell

By Author  |  Published: 6th Dec 2018  4:11 pm
Washington: The flag-draped casket of former President George H.W. Bush is carried by a military honor guard past former President George W. Bush, President Donald Trump, first lady Melania Trump, former President Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, former President Bill Clinton, and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, at the end of a State Funeral at the National Cathedral, Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018, in Washington. In the second row are Vice President Mike Pence, and his wife Karen Pence, former Vice President Dan Quayle, and his wife Marilyn Quayle and former Vice President Dick Cheney. Photo: AP

Washington: The casket with the remains of former US President George H.W. Bush has been brought to the Ellington Field military base in Houston, Texas, to receive a final tribute from his family and friends on Thursday.

The Mass will take place at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church, where he and his wife, former First Lady Barbara Bush who died in April, attended service regularly, Efe news reported.

After the private service, the casket of 41st US President will be transferred to his final resting place via a train whose locomotive was named “Bush 4141”, specifically to honour his life.

The journey of this train will end in the town of College Station, Texas, 160 km from Houston, where he will be buried in his presidential library with his wife and daughter Robin, who died at age 3 from leukemia.

Bush Sr’s casket was flown to Texas from Washington, where a state funeral took place on Wednesday with an emotional ceremony held at the National Cathedral, attended by political leaders and royals from around the world.

US President Donald Trump and his wife Melania sat in the front row of the church alongside former Democratic Presidents Barack Obama (2009-2017), Bill Clinton (1993-2001) and Jimmy Carter (1977- 1981), who attended the homily with their wives, Michelle, Hillary and Rosalynn, respectively.

Former President George W. Bush (2001-2009), visibly moved, described his father as a man of “optimistic” character and said that what he liked to do most was to laugh, “especially at himself”.

“In victory, he shared credit. When he lost, he shouldered the blame. He accepted that failure is part of living a full life,” said the Republican in an apparent reference to the defeat his father suffered in the 1992 elections, which prevented him from serving a second term.

The patriarch of the Bush family was a war pilot during World War II, congressman, Ambassador to the UN, Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Vice-President in the administration of Ronald Reagan between 1981 and 1989 and ended his four-decade political career to become a President (1989-1993), from where he led the end of the Cold War.