Socks symbolize ‘lifetime of service’
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 flying in formation with tiny jet streams behind them. The former president flew more than 50 combat missions in World War II and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.
“The 41st President will be carried to his final 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 flown 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 difficult 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 affected 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 final rest wearing socks that pay tribute to his lifetime of service ...”