On Thursday, former President George H.W. Bush returned to his home in Houston where he will be honored in a final service and ultimately be buried alongside his wife, Barbara, and daughter, Robin.
The patriarch of the Bush family, a Christian, a statesman, and later a president, Bush passed away on Friday at the age of 94. He was also a soldier and fought in World War II — the last president to do so.
After his passing, “41” was honored in Washington D.C., in the Capitol Rotunda, where he was lain in state. Tens of thousands of visitors from across the country entered the historic chamber between Monday and Wednesday to pay their respects. Many people had to wait for more than two hours in 36-degree weather before entering.
Now, Bush has returned home.
From the Associated Press:
After three days of remembrance in Washington, a plane brought Bush’s casket for his funeral’s closing ceremonies in Houston and burial Thursday at his family plot on the presidential library grounds at Texas A&M University in College Station. His final resting place is alongside Barbara Bush, his wife of 73 years, and Robin Bush, the daughter they lost to leukemia at age 3.
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As CNN reports, the presidential plane which carried Bush’s body — named “Special Air Mission 41” exclusively for this trip — departed from Joint Base Andrews and brought Bush into his adopted home state of Texas.
According to the report, about 300 people — including members of the Houston Astros and Houston Rockets — were at the airport to welcome Bush home. Other attendees included representatives from MD Anderson Cancer Center and George Bush High School.
Bush’s body lied in repose at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Houston, Texas, from 6:45 p.m. Wednesday to 6 a.m. central time on Thursday morning.
According to Bush family spokesperson, Jim McGrath, more than 11,000 people visited the church in the overnight hours.
“As the public repose in the state funeral for President George H.W. Bush draws to a close, just getting word that 11,657 persons took the time out of their lives to pay respect to the 41st President of the United States of America,” McGrath tweeted.
After the funeral service on Thursday morning, Bush’s body will board a funeral train and be carried to the George H.W. Bush Library at Texas A&M, Reuters reports.
Former U.S. President George H.W. Bush will be mourned on Thursday at the Houston church where he worshipped for many years, a final public farewell before his remains are taken by train to their resting place at his Texas presidential library.
Fox News reports that the train which will transport the former commander-in-chief was designed specifically in honor of the president more than a decade ago.
Former President George H.W. Bush will be taken to his final resting place by a train designed more than a decade ago in honor of the 41st commander in chief. https://fxn.ws/2AOHoLO
Posted by Fox News on Wednesday, December 5, 2018
USA Today reports the modest funeral service was invite-only with the eulogies to be given by “his son, former President George W. Bush, his best friend and former secretary of state, James Baker III, and his grandson and Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush”:
A week of national mourning for “41” concludes Thursday with an invitation-only funeral service at former President George H.W. Bush’s beloved local church and a private burial service at his presidential library 100 miles northwest of here in College Station.
Then the casket will be loaded onto the Union Pacific Railroad’s Presidential Train Car, traveling through Texas cities such as Spring, Magnolia and Navasota to College Station and the campus of Texas A&M University. His final resting place will be on the grounds of the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum alongside his wife and their daughter, Robin, who died from leukemia short of her 4th birthday.
The Episcopal church also served as the funeral location for Barbara Bush, who passed away in April of this year.