America bids farewell to George HW Bush.
As it happened; Timeline of events at the funeral.
Today the white house Flag was lowered for the beginning of the funeral. Flags across the nation are flying at half mast. This will be so for the next 30 days, per a proclamation from President Donald Trump.
Bush Family departs the US capitol. Military Guards carried George Bush’s casket down the capitol steps and placed it inside the hearse. Hearse began its journey towards the National Cathedral- an approximate 20 minute journey.
The route was lined with mourners paying their respects.
Trump meets the Obamas. Reports state an uncomfortable handshake between the two as they took their seats inside the Cathedral. This is one of the rare occasions so many presidential figures could be seen all together.
Hearse arrives at the Cathedral. The Hearse arrived after taking George Bushes remains past his former home (The White House) one last time. Crowds lined the streets.
After a few words from the presiding clergy, the casket of Bush Sr has been carried into the Cathedral. The bush family had also arrived, walking in as choir resumed singing.
On Twitter the hashtag ‘NationalDayOfMourning’ and ‘GeorgeHWBushFuneral’ are trending. Thousands are sharing posts and photos in memory of the 41st president.
US government closed. President Donald Trump has ordered that many government offices to close as the country mourns the death of its former president.
Here’s what’s been shut for the day via Trump’s executive order:
- Some National Parks
- US Post offices
- The New York Stock Exchange
- The Supreme Court
- All non-essential federal offices
Texas, the former president’s home state, has also shut down its government offices.
Ceremony officially begins. George HW Bush’s casket is set down at the front of the National Cathedral. The choir leads the mourners in singing the hymn Praise, My Soul, the King of Heaven.
After a prayer from Reverend Randolph Marshall Hollerith, Bush Sr’s granddaughters Lauren Bush Lauren and Ashley Walker Bush will begin the first reading.
Granddaughters give the first reading. Lauren Bush Lauren and Ashley Walker Bush, began the funeral by reading passages from the Book of Isaiah 60:1-5, about the glory of Zion.
Historian Jon Meacham began his eulogy by telling of how the former president had served as a US Navy pilot in World War Two, surviving after his plane was shot down by Japanese forces over the Pacific.
”President Bush spoke with those big strong hands, making fists to underscore points,”
“A master of what Franklin Roosevelt called the science of human relationships, he believed that to whom much is given, much is expected.”
“And because life gave him so much, he gave back again and again and again.”
As the choir sings The King of Love My Shepherd Is, former first daughter Jenna Bush Hager, granddaughter of Bush Sr, makes her way to the front of the cathedral for the second reading.
Former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney began the second eulogy with fulsome tribute.
“I believe it will be said that in the life of this country, the United States, which is in my judgement the greatest democratic republic that God has ever placed on the face of this earth, I believe it will be said that no occupant of the Oval Office was more courageous, more principled and more honourable than George Herbert Walker Bush.”
Former Wyoming Senator Alan Simpson delivered the third tribute to Bush.
George W Bush delivers a Eulogy for his dad- “To his very last days, dad’s life was instructive. He taught us how to grow with dignity, humor and kindness. And when the good lord finally called — how to meet him with courage and with the joy of the promise of what lies ahead”
"He couldn't stomach vegetables….he married his sweetheart…he taught me what it means to be a president." George W. Bush's words about his father will bring tears to your eyes. https://t.co/8hi8YzG8ol pic.twitter.com/NQ3mfhdGBj
— CBS News (@CBSNews) December 5, 2018
Irish Tenor, Ronan Tynan, sang a rendition of Last Full measure of devotion, backed by a choir and symphony. The song describes those who died to serve a greater need of a nation.
Reverend Russell Levenson Jr of Houston, Texas, the former president’s home state, followed Bush Jr’s eulogy with a homily.
“When death comes, as it does to us all, life is changed, not ended. The way we live our lives, the decisions we make, the service we render, matter.”
Rev Levenson Jr described Bush Sr’s final day, surrounded by those who loved him. “Only days ago, I was humbled, along with members of the president’s staff, his outstanding and loyal medical team, so many friends, Sully [the dog]. Loving members of his family, who called in, who spoke with him throughout the day, and, as our 43rd president just said: inspired his last words of love.”
“It was a beautiful end. It was a beautiful beginning. For a moment, but for a moment only, that dear point of light of George H W Bush dimmed. But it now shines brighter than it ever before has.”
Irish tenor Ronan Tynan once again sang for the crowd. This time, it was a rendition of The Lord’s Prayer.
As the ceremony nears its end, the military guard returns to bear Bush Sr’s casket down the main aisle of the National Cathedral. The choir leads the crowd in a hymn as the Bush family follows behind.
Bush Sr’s coffin is borne by uniformed pall-bearers from the cathedral, as ceremonial troops stand to attention. His casket is placed in the hearse, and the funeral service for former President George H W Bush officially ends.
The Bush family, following behind, are departing in the motorcade.
The casket will be taken to Joint Base Andrews and flown to Houston, Texas.