Trump and Obama side by side as leaders say goodbye
George H W Bush, the former US President, was remembered as a ‘‘noble’’ man of ‘‘great humility’’ yesterday at a state funeral attended by much of America’s political establishment.
Emotional eulogies from his son and friends remembered the 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
From left, President Donald Trump, first lady Melania Trump, former President Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, former President Bill Clinton, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and former President Jimmy Carter listen as former Senator Alan Simpson, R-Wyo., speaks during a State Funeral for former President George H.W. Bush.
Former President George W. Bush, right, cries after speaking during the State Funeral for his father, former President George H.W. Bush, at the National Cathedral in Washington.