Pres­i­dents farewell Bush snr

Whanganui Chronicle - - World -

Ge­orge H. W. Bush, the for­mer United States 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 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 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’s Na­tional Cathe­dral to com­mem­o­rate Bush’s life.

Bush’s el­dest son, for­mer Pres­i­dent Ge­orge W. Bush, re­flected on what his fa­ther, who died aged 94 on Fri­day, had taught him about hold­ing Amer­ica’s top po­lit­i­cal of­fice.

“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.

“When the his­tory books are writ­ten, they will say that Ge­orge H W 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 hon­our.”

At one point, he choked back tears as he praised “the best fa­ther a son or daugh­ter can have”, adding that the el­der Mr Bush now would be re­united with his wife, Bar­bara, and the daugh­ter, Robin, who they lost aged just three. A sec­ond fu­neral was to be held for Bush in Texas be­fore burial along­side his wife Bar­bara and Robin at a fam­ily plot.

Pho­tos / AP

The ser­vice brought to­gether pres­i­dents and first ladies (from left) Don­ald and Me­la­nia Trump, Barack and Michelle Obama, Bill and Hil­lary Clin­ton, and Jimmy and Ros­alynn Carter.

Ge­orge W. Bush, with his wife Laura, said his fa­ther showed him how to be a good pres­i­dent.

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