Former US President George W Bush choked while delivering the eulogy at his father George HW Bush’s funeral at the National Cathedral on Wednesday, 5 December and said that “Dad showed me what it means to be a President who serves with integrity.”
“When the history books are written, they will say that George HW Bush was a great President of the United States – a diplomat of unmatched skill, a Commander-in-Chief of formidable accomplishment, and a gentleman who executed the duties of his office with dignity and honor,” Bush added.
The nation bid goodbye to George HW Bush with high praise, cannon salutes and gentle humor, celebrating the life of the Texan who embraced a lifetime of service in Washington and was the last president to fight for the US in wartime.
In his speech, Bush also remembered his father and said, “Dad was a busy man, but never too busy to share his love of life with those around him.”
Bush further said that his father was a patriot who put his college on hold and became a navy fighter as the Second World War broke out.
Towards the end of his speech, a teary-eyed Bush, said, “Your decency, sincerity, and kind soul will stay with us forever. So, through our tears, let us see the blessings of knowing and loving you – a great and noble man, and the best father a son or daughter could have.”
Three former presidents looked on at the Washington National Cathedral as a fourth — George W. Bush — eulogized his father as "the brightest of a thousand points of light."
Other than Bush, former Wyoming Senator Alan Simpson, former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and presidential historian Jon Meacham also addressed the gathering at the funeral service.
Simpson regaled the congregation with stories from his years as Bush's friend in Washington. More seriously, he recalled that when he went through a rough patch in the political game, Bush conspicuously stood by him against the advice of aides.
“You would have wanted him on your side,” he said.
Former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney praised Bush as a strong world leader who helped oversee the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union and helped bring about the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico, signed into law by his successor, Clinton.
After three days of remembrance in the capital city, the Air Force plane with Bush's casket left for a final service in Houston and burial on Thursday at his family plot on the presidential library grounds at Texas A&M University in College Station.
His final resting place is alongside Barbara Bush, his wife of 73 years, and Robin Bush, the daughter who died of leukemia at age 3.
(With inputs from AP and ANI)
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