George H. W. Bush Lies In State As President Trump Pays His Respects
The former President lies in state as so many - including his family - mourn his passing
The long road Home has found a stop in our nation’s capitol as former President George H.W. Bush lies in state at the Capitol Rotunda today. He’ll remain there through tomorrow morning for public officials - and private citizens - to pay their respects. The space remained open throughout last night as the military honor guard watched over.
Mr. Bush’s journey began in Houston yesterday as thousands lined the streets to bid their adopted son farewell (born in Massachusetts, he made Houston his home for decades). Many even stopped along the freeway so that they could get out and salute, or take video of the massive motorcade transporting the late leader to Ellington Field Joint Reserve Base where Air Force One took him to Joint Base Andrews as ‘Special Air Mission 41.’
Once on the ground, he was greeted by sailors from the USS George H. W. Bush standing at attention… and sirens on the streets announced his travel to the Capitol. A 21-Gun salute marked his arrival at the Capitol. Then, a military band played “Hail to the Chief” as his casket was carried inside – and his heartbroken family looked on. Later, a small service offered a host of dignitaries, including President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump as well as Vice President Mike Pence and his wife. There were also a number of speakers, including Mr. Pence, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan.
Among those joining the Bush family as their late patriarch was brought inside were the elder Bush’s Secretary of State James Baker, and Colin Powell, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the first Gulf War under Bush. Also among the first to pay their respects? Members of the House and Senate – from both parties.
Bush will lie in state in the Rotunda until tomorrow morning. At that point, his casket will be transported through the streets of the capital city to the National Cathedral for his 11am state funeral service. Among those eulogizing him, will be his son, former President George W. Bush. Former Presidents Carter, Clinton and Obama will also be on hand for Wednesday’s state funeral.
President Bush’s casket rests on the Lincoln catafalque; the same platform built and used during the funeral of Abraham Lincoln after the 16th president was shot dead.
Following the service, the former president will return to Houston where he’ll lie in repose at St. Martin's Episcopal Church in Houston from 7:45pm ET Wednesday until 7am ET Thursday. A second memorial service for Bush will be held there at 11am ET Thursday. After that, he’ll be transported by train (at his request) to Texas A&M University and the George Bush Presidential Library & Museum, where he’ll be interred beside his beloved Barbara and their daughter, Pauline Robinson "Robin" Bush – who died of leukemia when she was just three.