Texas bids Bush farewell with coun­try mu­sic and a fu­neral train

Saturday Star - - WORLD - News Agency (ANA) African

GE­ORGE H W Bush, who shaped his­tory as Amer­ica’s 41st pres­i­dent and pa­tri­arch of a fam­ily that oc­cu­pied the White House for a dozen years, went to his fi­nal rest on Thurs­day in Texas.

More than 11 000 peo­ple paid their re­spects as his cas­ket lay in re­pose all night at a Hous­ton church where his fam­ily wor­shipped. Some vis­i­tors waited for hours to pay trib­ute to Bush, at St. Martin’s Epis­co­pal Church.

The ser­vice be­gan with Amer­ica the Beau­ti­ful and a ro­bust ren­di­tion of The Star-span­gled Ban­ner.

The hymns were cho­sen and loved by the for­mer pres­i­dent, said the church’s priest, Rev Rus­sell J Leven­son Jr. Some of Bush’s favourite coun­try mu­sic stars paid trib­ute, in­clud­ing the Oak Ridge Boys do­ing Amaz­ing Grace and Reba Mcen­tire of­fer­ing The Lord’s Prayer, as three days of of­fi­cial cer­e­monies in Wash­ing­ton gave way to more per­sonal touches for the for­mer pres­i­dent in Texas.

The na­tion’s cap­i­tal bid him good­bye on Wed­nes­day in a fu­neral ser­vice that of­fered high praise for the last of the pres­i­dents to have fought in World War II – and a hefty dose of hu­mour about a man whose speech de­liv­ery was once de­scribed as a cross be­tween Mis­ter Rogers and John Wayne.

In the ser­vice at Wash­ing­ton Na­tional Cathe­dral, three for­mer pres­i­dents and Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump looked on as Ge­orge W Bush eu­lo­gised his fa­ther. Trump sat with his wife, a trio of ex-pres­i­dents and their wives, sev­eral of them sharp crit­ics of his pres­i­dency.

Ge­orge W Bush broke down briefly at the end of his eu­logy while in­vok­ing the daugh­ter his par­ents lost in 1953 and his mother, who died in April.

He said he took com­fort in know­ing “Dad is hug­ging Robin and hold­ing Mom’s hand again”. |

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