Funeral service held for former President George H.W. Bush at National Cathedral

Funeral service for former President George H.W. Bush underway at National Cathedral (ABC7 photo)

A funeral service was held Wednesday for former President George H.W. Bush at the National Cathedral.

Presidential historian and author Jon Meacham described the late former president as a loving man with a big vibrant, all-enveloping heart of a lion who not only led us, but loved us.

"The GHWB who survived that fiery fall into the Pacific made our lives nobler, that was his mission, that was his heartbeat,” Meacham said.

Granddaughters Jenna Bush-Hager, Lauren Bush, Lauren and Ashley Walker-Bush gave the readings, and during the state funeral his son and former president George W. Bush gave a eulogy.

“The best father a man could have. Holding mom's hand again,” George W. Bush said.

The former commander-in-chief's funeral is the fourth state funeral at the National Cathedral. The others included presidents Dwight Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan, and Gerald Ford.

All living U.S. presidents and Prince Charles attended the invitation only service which took place at 11 a.m. Wednesday.

George H.W. Bush made several trips to the Washington National Cathedral and he spoke there during former President Jimmy Carter’s habitat service.

He attended the service for victims and survivors of 9/11 and gave a eulogy at the last state funeral held here in 2007 for Ford.

George H.W. Bush discussed what he called one of the nation’s saddest chapters, Watergate, and how the country once again entrusted its future and hopes to “Jerry” as he called him. For the former commander-in-chief that was always a priority, honor and dignity in office.

His service is the fourth state funeral here at the cathedral, the others included presidents Dwight Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan.

Once the procession ends and the president’s casket is removed from the hearse, there will be the presentation of arms and musical honors which will include hail to the chief.

Following the funeral, there will be a 21-gun salute at Joint Base Andrews, during the departure ceremony at 1:15 p.m. Wednesday.

President Donald Trump declared Wednesday, Dec. 5, as a national day of mourning in honor of George H.W. Bush.


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