Socks sym­bol­ize ‘life­time of ser­vice’

USA TODAY International Edition - - NEWS - John Ba­con and Jorge L. Or­tiz Contributing: Wil­liam Cum­mings, Cyd­ney Hen­der­son and Ash­ley May, USA TO­DAY; Hana Kha­ly­heh, Cor­pus Christi (Texas) Caller Times

When Pres­i­dent Ge­orge H.W. Bush lies in state in the Capi­tol Ro­tunda start­ing Mon­day evening, he will be wear­ing a pair of socks that “pay trib­ute to his life­time of ser­vice,” fam­ily spokesman Jim McGrath says.

Bush was long known for wear­ing col­or­ful, of­ten whim­si­cal socks. Days be­fore the Texas pri­mary in March, he wore red, white and blue socks em­bla­zoned with the word “VOTE.” He wore book-themed socks to his wife Bar­bara's fu­neral in April to cel­e­brate her com­mit­ment to lit­er­acy.

Mon­day, McGrath tweeted a photo of gray socks with sev­eral small jets flying in for­ma­tion with tiny jet streams be­hind them. The former pres­i­dent flew more than 50 com­bat mis­sions in World War II and was awarded the Distin­guished Fly­ing Cross.

“The 41st Pres­i­dent will be car­ried to his final rest wear­ing socks that pay trib­ute to his life­time of ser­vice, start­ing as an 18 year-old naval avi­a­tor in war,” McGrath tweeted. “That legacy is now be­ing car­ried, in part, by the brave, self­less men and women” aboard the air­craft car­rier USS Ge­orge H.W. Bush.

A brief de­par­ture cer­e­mony for the former pres­i­dent‘s re­mains drew sev­eral fam­ily mem­bers to Elling­ton Field in Houston on Mon­day morn­ing. The plane then left for Joint Base An­drews out­side Wash­ing­ton, where an ar­rival cer­e­mony was sched­uled.

Still an­other cer­e­mony Mon­day will mark the body's ar­rival at the Capi­tol be­fore the pub­lic can be­gin to pay re­spects start­ing at 7:30 p.m. EST. Bush will lie in state un­til Wed­nes­day.

A fu­neral ser­vice is planned for Wed­nes­day at Wash­ing­ton Na­tional Cathe­dral, and Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump said he will at­tend.

“Look­ing for­ward to be­ing with the Bush Fam­ily to pay my re­spects to Pres­i­dent Ge­orge H.W. Bush,” Trump tweeted Mon­day. Former Pres­i­dents Barack Obama, Bill Clin­ton, Jimmy Carter and Bush's son, Ge­orge W. Bush, also will at­tend.

Bush's re­mains will be flown back to Texas for a fu­neral Thurs­day at St. Martin's Epis­co­pal Church in Houston. Burial is set for later Thurs­day at the site of his pres­i­den­tial li­brary on the cam­pus of Texas A&M Univer­sity in Col­lege Sta­tion, 100 miles north­west of Houston.

Bush is to be laid to rest be­side Bar­bara Bush, his wife of 73 years, and daugh­ter Robin, who was 3 years old when she died of leukemia in 1953.

Bush died Fri­day in his Houston home at age 94. His bat­tle with vas­cu­lar Parkin­son­ism had robbed him of his abil­ity to walk. He had used a wheel­chair since 2012.

The con­di­tion made it in­creas­ingly difficult for him to speak more than a few words at a time.

Vas­cu­lar Parkin­son­ism is a rare con­di­tion that's gen­er­ally be­lieved to be caused by small strokes that dam­age the same brain struc­tures affected in Parkin­son's Dis­ease.


Late pres­i­dent Ge­orge H.W. Bush’s spokesper­son Jim McGrath posted this photo Mon­day on Twit­ter with the cap­tion:”"The 41st Pres­i­dent will be car­ried to his final rest wear­ing socks that pay trib­ute to his life­time of ser­vice ...”

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