A di­vided Wash­ing­ton led by the na­tion’s five liv­ing pres­i­dents put on a rare show of unity Wed­nes­day at the state funeral of Ge­orge Her­bert Walker Bush, as Amer­ica bade farewell to its 41st pres­i­dent.

US, for­eign lead­ers bid goodbye to late pres­i­dent, re­mem­ber era of ci­vil­ity

The Korea Times - - FRONT PAGE -

— A di­vided Wash­ing­ton led by the na­tion’s five liv­ing pres­i­dents put on a rare show of unity Wed­nes­day at the state funeral of Ge­orge Her­bert Walker Bush, as Amer­ica bade farewell to its 41st pres­i­dent.

Don­ald and Me­la­nia Trump shared a front row pew in the Na­tional Cathe­dral with past pres­i­dents Barack Obama, Bill Clin­ton, Jimmy Carter and their wives as an honor guard brought Bush’s flag-draped cas­ket into the prayer hall filled with dig­ni­taries.

Ge­orge W. Bush tapped the cas­ket twice when he walked up to de­liver a rous­ing eu­logy, fight­ing through tears as he sang the praises of his fa­ther and pre­de­ces­sor as com­man­der-in-chief, who died Fri­day at age 94.

“He showed me what it means to be a pres­i­dent who serves with in­tegrity, leads with courage, and acts with love in his heart for the cit­i­zens of our coun­try,” Bush said.

“He was born with just two set­tings — full throt­tle, then sleep,” he said.

“To us, his was the bright­est of a thou­sand points of light,” he said in a ref­er­ence to his fa­ther’s sig­na­ture call to vol­un­teerism.

“When the his­tory books are writ­ten, they will say that Ge­orge H.W. Bush was a great pres­i­dent of the United States.”

Bush’s eu­logy fol­lowed a per­for­mance by Ir­ish tenor Ro­nan Ty­nan — a friend of H.W. who sang to him in his dy­ing hours.

Wed­nes­day’s funeral capped a na­tional homage that saw Bush lie in state in the US Capi­tol ro­tunda, where thou­sands paid re­spects to a states­man who steered the na­tion through tur­bu­lent times in­clud­ing the end of the Cold War — and in a style dra­mat­i­cally dif­fer­ent to the cur­rent pres­i­dent.

Since Bush’s death, Trump has traded his usual provoca­tive pos­ture for one of solem­nity, tweet­ing be­fore the ser­vice about “a day of cel­e­bra­tion for a great man.”

But at the funeral, Trump and his Demo­cratic pre­de­ces­sors ap­peared locked in an un­easy truce.

Trump ar­rived and shook hands with Obama and for­mer first lady Michelle Obama.

But his greet­ings stopped there, and the body lan­guage turned cold as he failed to ac­knowl­edge Hil­lary Clin­ton, his de­feated Demo­cratic ri­val in 2016.

Clin­ton stared straight ahead and the two made no eye con­tact.

It was a dra­matic con­trast when Ge­orge W. Bush ar­rived min­utes later and shook hands with the cur­rent and past pres­i­dents and their wives — and handed Michelle Obama a piece of candy, as he did dur­ing the me­mo­rial ser­vice for se­na­tor John McCain in the same cathe­dral in Septem­ber.

Bells tolled while the cas­ket was car­ried down the aisle, as dig­ni­taries in­clud­ing Bri­tain’s Prince Charles, Ger­man Chan­cel­lor An­gela Merkel, for­mer Pol­ish pres­i­dent Lech Walesa, and for­mer U.S. vice pres­i­dents and cab­i­net of­fi­cials looked on.

Pre­ci­sion, pa­tri­otic rit­ual, and cer­e­mony ruled the day. The Bushes and con­gres­sional lead­ers stood out­side the U.S. Capi­tol with hands on hearts as Bush’s cas­ket was car­ried out to a 21-gun salute.

Pennsylvania Av­enue was lined with well-wish­ers as the cortege pro­ceeded to­ward the Neo-Gothic cathe­dral in the first pres­i­den­tial funeral since Ger­ald Ford died in 2006.

Bush was a dec­o­rated World War II avi­a­tor who nearly died when he was shot down on a bomb­ing mission.

He served as a con­gress­man, en­voy to China, di­rec­tor of the Cen­tral In­tel­li­gence Agency, and vice pres­i­dent to Ron­ald Rea­gan be­fore win­ning the White House.

Trump’s as­cen­dancy to the head of the Repub­li­can Party saw him ex­change vit­ri­olic at­tacks with the Bushes, no­tably slam­ming the pres­i­den­tial son’s 2003 in­va­sion of Iraq and mock­ing can­di­date Jeb Bush dur­ing the Repub­li­can pri­maries.

Reuters, AFP-Yon­hap

U.S. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump with first lady Me­la­nia Trump, for­mer Pres­i­dent Barack Obama, for­mer first lady Michelle Obama, for­mer Pres­i­dent Bill Clin­ton and for­mer first lady Hil­lary Clin­ton, for­mer Pres­i­dent Jimmy Carter and first lady Ros­alynn Carter at­tend the state funeral for for­mer U.S. Pres­i­dent Ge­orge H.W. Bush at the Wash­ing­ton Na­tional Cathe­dral in Wash­ing­ton, Wed­nes­day. In­set: For­mer U.S. Pres­i­dent Ge­orge W. Bush be­comes emo­tional as he speaks at the funeral for his fa­ther, Ge­orge H.W. Bush.

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