George Herbert Walker Bush, the 41st president of the U.S., made his last trip to the nation’s capital, during which hundreds of thousands paid their final respects as his body laid in state in the city where he spent much of his life as a public official at the highest levels of American government. He died Nov. 30 at 94.
Bush, a Navy pilot shot down during World War II, would go on to become a member of Congress, a U.S. ambassador, the director of the CIA and vice president of the U.S. – eventually being elected as president. And while Bush would lose to President Bill Clinton in his second run for office, his son, George W. Bush, would succeed Clinton as the 43rd president. Later in life, Bush, the father, would become known as a gentle-hearted humanitarian who enjoyed taking part in various causes with both Clinton and Barack Obama by his side.
In the 747, normally used for the sitting president, known as Air Force One, which landed at Joint Base Andrews shortly after 3 p.m. Monday afternoon, the Bush children and former members of his administration more two decades ago led the somber motorcade through Maryland, southeast D.C. and then to the U.S. Capitol for three days of tribute.
His flag-draped casket was laid out in the U.S. Capitol on the same stand which once held the remains of President Abraham Lincoln. Following words of remembrance shared by Vice President Mike Pence and Senate President Mitch McConnell, other political leaders from both parties and members of the public paid their individual respects.
And while President Trump had been critical of both the former Bush presidents, the elder Bush, in a final gesture prior to his death, made it clear that Trump would be among those invited to his private state funeral.
Trump and the first lady saluted Bush at both the U.S. Capitol and during a service at the National Cathedral on Wednesday, Dec. 5 before the return of his body to his home state of Texas where he would finally rest beside his wife Barbara, who died nine months earlier.