Former President George H.W. Bush, who died Friday at age 94, was honored Wednesday at a state funeral at the Washington National Cathedral. George W. Bush, the 43rd president, gave a tearful eulogy of his father, saying he taught his children about the importance of public service and how to live a life with grace, humility and kindness. “He was a genuinely optimistic man,” Bush said. “And that optimism guided his children, and made each of us believe that anything was possible.” During the final moments of his eulogy, Bush fought back tears, saying “Dad is hugging Robin and holding mom’s hand again.” (referring to George H.W. Bush and Barbara Bush’s daughter, who died in 1953 from leukemia at the age of 3.)
President Bush has been lying in state in the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol since Monday evening. Together in the cathedral front row were President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump. along with former presidents Bill Clinton, Barack Obama and Jimmy Carter, along with their wives.
Prince Charles of England, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Jordan’s King Abdullah II were some of the foreign dignitaries slated to attend. About 3,000 people filled the cathedral. After the funeral service, Air Force One — temporarily renamed “Special Air Mission 41” in honor of the 41st president — will return Bush’s body to Texas for burial, where a second private funeral is scheduled to take place.
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