Say­ing farewell

Trump, ex-pres­i­dents at­tend Bush funeral

China Daily (USA) - - FRONT PAGE - Xin­hua contributed to this story.

“A great and no­ble man, and the best fa­ther a son or daugh­ter could have.”

“Amer­ica’s last great sol­dier states­man, a 20th-cen­tury found­ing fa­ther.”

With those and other words of praise, Ge­orge H.W. Bush, the 41st pres­i­dent of the United States, who over­saw the end of the Cold War but who suf­fered de­feat af­ter one term, was given the pageantry of a state funeral on Wed­nes­day.

The ser­vice at Na­tional Cathe­dral in Wash­ing­ton was at­tended by 3,000 peo­ple, in­clud­ing Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump, for­mer pres­i­dents Barack Obama, Bill Clin­ton and Jimmy Carter and their spouses. They were joined by Bush fam­ily mem­bers, for­mer Bush col­leagues, world lead­ers and or­di­nary peo­ple.

In a 12-minute trib­ute, Ge­orge W. Bush, the 43rd US pres­i­dent, re­mem­bered his fa­ther as an im­per­fect, but beloved man who gave him wis­dom as a pres­i­dent and a fa­ther.

“He was the best fa­ther a son or daugh­ter could have,” said Bush. As he spoke those words, his eyes welled up and his body quaked. When he con­cluded, the con­gre­ga­tion burst into sus­tained ap­plause.

Writer Jon Meacham, who be­came close to Bush as his bi­og­ra­pher, in his eu­logy called him “Amer­ica’s last great sol­dier-states­man, a 20th-cen­tury found­ing fa­ther’’.

For­mer Cana­dian prime min­is­ter Brian Mul­roney, a friend of the for­mer pres­i­dent who was asked to de­liver a trib­ute, said, “I be­lieve it will be said that no oc­cu­pant of the Oval Of­fice was more coura­geous, more prin­ci­pled or more hon­or­able than Ge­orge Her­bert Walker Bush.”

In and out­side the Capi­tol and along Pennsylvania Av­enue, thou­sands of Amer­i­cans gath­ered on Wed­nes­day to bid farewell to the for­mer pres­i­dent as his cas­ket was trans­ported by a mo­tor­cade from the Capi­tol to Na­tional Cathe­dral.

The for­mer pres­i­dent, who served as head of the US Li­ai­son Of­fice in China be­tween 1974 and 1975, was seen “an old friend of the Chi­nese peo­ple”, who pro­moted the his­toric de­vel­op­ment of US-China re­la­tions over the past four decades.

He died on Fri­day at the age of 94 at his home in Hous­ton af­ter years of strug­gling with Parkin­son’s dis­ease.

Af­ter the ser­vice, his cof­fin was taken to Joint Base An­drews out­side of Wash­ing­ton. It was loaded aboard one of the blue-and-white pres­i­den­tial jets for a fi­nal flight home and burial on Thurs­day at his Pres­i­den­tial Li­brary and Mu­seum in Col­lege Sta­tion, Texas, along­side his wife, Bar­bara, who died in April, and his daugh­ter Robin, who died at the age of 3 from leukemia.

Trump closed the fed­eral gov­ern­ment on Wed­nes­day to mark a day of mourn­ing for Bush, and sev­eral US fi­nan­cial ex­changes were closed.

VIA REUTERS ALEX BRAN­DON / POOL

For­mer US pres­i­dent Ge­orge W. Bush be­comes emo­tional as he speaks at the State Funeral for his fa­ther, for­mer pres­i­dent Ge­orge H.W. Bush, at Na­tional Cathe­dral in Wash­ing­ton on Wed­nes­day.

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