Politi­cians, fam­ily re­act to the death of 41st pres­i­dent

Lexington Herald-Leader (Sunday) - - From The Front - BY SARAH MERVOSH AND JACEY FORTIN

Ge­orge H.W. Bush, the 41st pres­i­dent of the United States, died Fri­day at 94, and the tributes and con­do­lences quickly poured in on­line. From his fam­ily, in­clud­ing the 43rd pres­i­dent of the United States, to those who had dis­agreed with his pol­i­tics, a surge of posts hon­ored the man who served his coun­try in more than 40 years of pub­lic ser­vice.

“Af­ter 94 re­mark­able years, our dear Dad has died,” for­mer Pres­i­dent Ge­orge W. Bush said in a state­ment on be­half of his sib­lings. “Ge­orge H.W. Bush was a man of the high­est char­ac­ter and the best dad a son or daugh­ter could ask for. The en­tire Bush fam­ily is deeply grate­ful for 41’s life and love, for the com­pas­sion of those who have cared and prayed for Dad, and for the con­do­lences of our friends and fel­low ci­ti­zens.”

Ge­orge P. Bush, a grand­son who serves as the Texas land com­mis­sioner, lauded his grand­fa­ther for his ded­i­ca­tion to his coun­try and to his fam­ily.

“To me,” he said on Twit­ter, “he will al­ways be Gampy. The man who taught me to fish in Maine, to throw a horse­shoe and to swing a base­ball bat lefty.”

The White House re­leased a state­ment on be­half of Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump and the first lady, Me­la­nia Trump: “Me­la­nia and I join with a griev­ing na­tion to mourn the loss of for­mer Pres­i­dent Ge­orge H.W. Bush.”

“With sound judg­ment, com­mon sense, and un­flap­pable lead­er­ship, Pres­i­dent Bush guided our na­tion, and the world, to a peace­ful and vic­to­ri­ous con­clu­sion of the Cold War,” the state­ment said.

Bush, a Repub­li­can, drew praise from both sides of the aisle, as Democrats and Repub­li­cans alike com­mended his com­mit­ment to ser­vice.

For­mer Pres­i­dent Barack Obama and Michelle Obama, the for­mer first lady, said in a state­ment that “Ge­orge H.W. Bush’s life is a tes­ta­ment to the no­tion that pub­lic ser­vice is a noble, joy­ous call­ing. And he did tremen­dous good along the jour­ney.”

And for­mer Pres­i­dent Jimmy Carter said Bush’s ad­min­is­tra­tion was “marked by grace, ci­vil­ity and so­cial con­science.”

In a piece pub­lished in The Wash­ing­ton Post, for­mer Pres­i­dent Bill Clin­ton fondly re­called the let­ter he re­ceived from Bush, his pre­de­ces­sor, upon as­sum­ing of­fice.

“There will be very tough times, made even more dif­fi­cult by crit­i­cism you may not think is fair,” Bush wrote. “I’m not a very good one to give ad­vice; but just don’t let the crit­ics dis­cour­age you or push you off course.”

De­spite their dif­fer­ences, Clin­ton said, he ad­mired Bush’s ac­com­plish­ments, call­ing their friend­ship “one of the great gifts of my life.”

Global lead­ers also paid their re­spects. Mikhail Gor­bachev, the for­mer pres­i­dent of the Soviet Union, called Bush a “true part­ner.”

“We had the op­por­tu­nity to work to­gether dur­ing the era of great changes,” Gor­bachev said in a state­ment. “It was a dra­matic pe­riod, which re­quired ev­ery­one to be tremen­dously re­spon­si­ble. Its out­come was the end of the Cold War and the nu­clear arms race.”

Theresa May, the Bri­tish prime min­is­ter, de­scribed Bush as “a true friend” and “the trusted coun­ter­part and con­fi­dant of two prime min­is­ters.”

James Baker III, the for­mer sec­re­tary of state and Bush’s clos­est ad­viser for nearly 50 years, noted the many ways his friend had served: a Navy pi­lot dur­ing World War II, a Texas con­gress­man, a U.N. am­bas­sador, direc­tor of the CIA, vice pres­i­dent — and fi­nally, pres­i­dent.

“The legacy of Ge­orge H.W. Bush will be for­ever etched in the his­tory of Amer­ica and the world,” he said in a state­ment, adding: “It was my plea­sure and great joy to have had him as my spe­cial friend for more than 60 years.”

Con­doleezza Rice, the for­mer sec­re­tary of state for Pres­i­dent Ge­orge W. Bush, said in a state­ment the se­nior Bush was a men­tor to her and a dear friend.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.