Trump and Obama side by side as lead­ers say good­bye

Marlborough Express - - FRONT PAGE -

41st pres­i­dent as a ‘‘class act’’ who ded­i­cated his life to pub­lic ser­vice and em­bod­ied courage, both po­lit­i­cal and per­sonal.

In a ser­vice dom­i­nated by the mes­sages of unity and pa­tri­o­tism, speak­ers praised Bush’s op­po­si­tion to ‘‘un­think­ing par­ti­san­ship’’ and aware­ness that ‘‘ha­tred cor­rodes’’.

Jon Meacham, a pres­i­den­tial his­to­rian, summed up Mr Bush’s ap­proach to life as ‘‘tell the truth, don’t blame peo­ple, be strong, do your best, try hard, for­give, stay the course’’.

The mes­sages were in­ter­preted as a call for ci­vil­ity in pol­i­tics at a time when the coun­try is bit­terly di­vided along party lines.

Don­ald Trump, the cur­rent US Pres­i­dent, joined three of his pre­de­ces­sors – Barack Obama, Bill Clin­ton and Jimmy Carter – and their wives on the front row of Wash­ing­ton DC’S Na­tional Cathe­dral to com­mem­o­rate Bush’s life.

Trump and Me­la­nia Trump, his wife, shook hands with the Oba­mas de­spite their well­doc­u­mented pub­lic clashes and were seated next to each other – a sign of the bi­par­ti­san­ship that res­onated through­out the ser­vice.

They were joined by many of the most fa­mous faces in re­cent Amer­i­can po­lit­i­cal life from both sides of the aisle, in­clud­ing Mike Pence and Joe Biden, the cur­rent and for­mer vice pres­i­dents, and mem­bers of Trump’s cabi­net.

From Bri­tain, Prince Charles at­tended to rep­re­sent the Queen, while Sir John Ma­jor, whose premier­ship over­lapped with Bush’s time in of­fice, and Sir Kim Dar­roch, the UK am­bas­sador to the USA, were also present. An­gela Merkel, the Ger­man chan­cel­lor, was among other for­eign dig­ni­taries pay­ing their re­spects.

There was a fifth US pres­i­dent also present, of course – Ge­orge W Bush, the son of Mr Bush, who matched his fa­ther by reach­ing the White House and even did one bet­ter, win­ning a sec­ond term. – Tele­graph Group

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