MOURN­ERS GATHER FOR BUSH FU­NERAL TRAIN

The Kansas City Star - - Front Page - BY MANNY FER­NAN­DEZ

The flag-draped cas­ket of for­mer Pres­i­dent Ge­orge H.W. Bush passes through Mag­no­lia, Texas, on Thurs­day along the route from Spring to Col­lege Sta­tion, Texas. Bush was buried on the grounds of the Ge­orge H.W. Bush Pres­i­den­tial Li­brary and Mu­seum, next to Bar­bara Bush, his wife of 73 years, who died in April.

In the same church where his wife of 73 years was eu­lo­gized just seven months ago, for­mer Pres­i­dent Ge­orge H.W. Bush was re­mem­bered Thurs­day morn­ing for his hu­mil­ity, de­cency and de­vo­tion to his fam­ily and his coun­try.

Nearly 1,000 rel­a­tives, friends and dig­ni­taries from the worlds of pol­i­tics, sports, busi­ness and en­ter­tain­ment filled St. Martin’s Epis­co­pal Church. The fu­neral Thurs­day for Bush, who died last week at the age of 94, was one of the fi­nal events in the na­tional mourn­ing for the 41st pres­i­dent.

Eight of his grand­sons led the mil­i­tary pall­bear­ers who car­ried Bush’s cof­fin into the church, and later his el­dest grand­son – Ge­orge P. Bush, the Texas land com­mis­sioner – spoke in a touch­ing eu­logy of his grand­fa­ther’s horse­shoe games with the fam­ily and the Se­cret Ser­vice, and how it had been “the honor of a life­time to share his name.”

Bush’s friends and rel­a­tives de­scribed a man who walked softly through the post­war pages of Amer­i­can his­tory, who was de­fined by ser­vice to oth­ers and who, one cold day in Hous­ton, gave a young coat­less usher at St. Martin’s the coat off his back.

“His wish for a kinder, gen­tler na­tion was not a cyn­i­cal po­lit­i­cal slo­gan: It came hon­est and un­guarded from his soul,” James Baker, Bush’s long­time friend of more than 60 years, said in a eu­logy.

Af­ter the fu­neral, Bush’s cof­fin trav­eled by train to Col­lege Sta­tion, Texas, where the for­mer pres­i­dent was to be buried on the grounds of the Ge­orge H.W. Bush Pres­i­den­tial Li­brary and Mu­seum at Texas A&M Univer­sity – next to Bar­bara Bush and their daugh­ter Robin, who died of leukemia in 1953 when she was 3.

The Hous­ton cer­e­mony was a much smaller trib­ute than the state fu­neral the day be­fore, in large part for the Bush fam­ily and their friends and sup­port­ers in Texas.

Bush, a World War II avi­a­tor from the East Coast, came to Texas in the sum­mer of 1948 to make a name for him­self in the oil busi­ness. Seventy years af­ter that trip, Bush’s fu­neral train took him on one last jour­ney through the state. Mem­bers of the Bush fam­ily were on board. The train ride from Bush’s Hous­ton fu­neral to his Col­lege Sta­tion burial had been his idea, or­ga­niz­ers said.

Shortly af­ter 3:30 p.m., the fu­neral train glided onto the Texas A&M cam­pus, where sev­eral hun­dred spec­ta­tors who had waited in the rain for hours cheered.

As the univer­sity band played “Hail to the Chief” and the “Ag­gie War Hymn,” the cof­fin was placed into a wait­ing hearse.

The Bush fam­ily and oth­ers then joined the mo­tor­cade to the pres­i­den­tial li­brary. From there, the cof­fin was car­ried to the fam­ily plot, where the for­mer pres­i­dent was laid to rest in a pri­vate burial.

DAVID J. PHILLIP TNS, Sipa USA

ERIC GAY AP

For­mer Flor­ida Gov. Jeb Bush, sec­ond from left, with his wife, Columba, left, and for­mer Pres­i­dent Ge­orge W. Bush, cen­ter, with wife Laura and other fam­ily mem­bers watch as the flag-draped cas­ket of for­mer Pres­i­dent Ge­orge H.W. Bush is car­ried by a mil­i­tary honor guard af­ter it ar­rived by train for burial at the Ge­orge Bush Pres­i­den­tial Li­brary.

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