Politics

President George H.W. Bush Remembered At National Cathedral Service

Former President George W. Bush and Laura Bush look on during the state funeral for his father, former President George H.W. Bush, at the National Cathedral on Wednesday.
Former President George W. Bush and Laura Bush look on during the state funeral for his father, former President George H.W. Bush, at the National Cathedral on Wednesday.
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Updated at 12:30 p.m. ET

Former President George H.W. Bush is being eulogized Wednesday morning at a state funeral at Washington National Cathedral.

The cathedral bells tolled as the casket containing the 41st president was carried by a military honor guard down the center aisle.

Seated together on one side of the aisle were President Trump and former Democratic Presidents Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, along with their wives.

On the other side was the Bush family, including George W. Bush, who as he greeted his fellow former chief executives appeared to slip a piece of candy to Michelle Obama. Bush gave the former first lady a candy during Sen. John McCain's service in September, and the Internet noticed.

Three of Bush's granddaughters read Bible passages, and the first tribute was given by Bush biographer Jon Meacham. He recounted the story of Bush being shot down over the Pacific during World War II,and called him "America's last great soldier statesman, a 20th century founding father."

He poked fun at Bush's sometimes-awkward public speaking style.

" 'Fluency in English,' President Bush once remarked, 'is something that I'm often not accused of,' " Meacham said, adding, "His tongue may have run amok at times, but his heart was steadfast."

His eldest son, former President George W. Bush, delivered the main eulogy. Other speakers included former Sen. Alan Simpson, R-Wyo., and former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney. You can read the full program here.

Bush was transported to the cathedral in a procession from the U.S. Capitol, where his casket had lain in state since Monday.

Following the service, the body will be flown to Texas, where Bush will be laid to rest on Thursday at the Bush Presidential Library and Museum in College Station, alongside his wife, Barbara, and their daughter Robin, who died at age 3.

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