Former President George H.W. Bush received a 21-gun-salute both when the casket carrying his body departed from Ellington Field Joint Reserve Base in Houston and when it arrived at Joint Air Force Base Andrews outside Washington, D.C. on Monday afternoon.
Bush, the nation’s 41st president, died late Friday at the age of 94.
Air Force One, re-designated Special Air Mission 41, landed at Andrews at approximately 3:30 p.m. Eastern carrying the remains of the former commander-in-chief.
The Associated Press reported that among those on-board for the flight were Bush’s sons, former President George W. Bush with his wife Laura, and Neil Bush, a Houston-based businessman.
“A formation of Navy sailors and Air Force personnel stood at attention as the plane touched down. The sailors assembled were from the USS George H. W. Bush, the Navy’s newest aircraft carrier. A group of about 100 civilian dignitaries and well-wishers also were on hand,” according to the AP.
— CBS News (@CBSNews) December 3, 2018
A military band played “Hail to the Chief” as Bush’s flag-draped casket was moved from the presidential plane to a waiting hearse, which transported the casket to the U.S. Capitol, approximately 14 miles to the northwest.
ABC NEWS SPECIAL REPORT: Pres. George H.W. Bush’s casket arrives at U.S. Capitol for multi-day national tribute. https://t.co/A1P5SVx1iN
— ABC News (@ABC) December 3, 2018
Bush will lie in state at the Capitol from Monday evening until Wednesday, when his casket will be removed for a funeral at National Cathedral in Washington.
Fox News reported that George W. Bush will be among four who will deliver eulogies at the ceremony.
Former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, who also eulogized Bush’s predecessor Ronald Reagan, will speak too, as well as former Wyoming Republican senator and friend Alan Simpson and presidential historian Jon Meacham.
Meacham, author of “Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush” (2015), also spoke at former first lady Barbara Bush’s funeral in Houston in June.
In an Op-Ed for The New York Times published on Saturday, Meacham wrote, “George Herbert Walker Bush, who died Friday night, at 94, was the last president of the Greatest Generation, a gentleman who came of age in an ever-uglier arena, the embodiment of a postwar era of consensus that, in our time, seems as remote as Agincourt.
“He deserves our praise, but he also repays closer historical consideration, for his life offers an object lesson in the best that politics, which is inherently imperfect, can be.”
George H.W. Bush’s casket will lie in state in the US Capitol Rotunda on the Lincoln catafalque, the same catafalque that was used to support the casket of Abraham Lincoln. pic.twitter.com/oEDl4Ccki5
— NBC News (@NBCNews) December 3, 2018
President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump plan to attend Wednesday’s funeral, though the president is not slated to speak.
Trump has declared Wednesday a national day of mourning for Bush and directed that all executive departments and agencies be closed.
He has also ordered the flag to be flown at half-staff for 30 days, starting from the date of Bush’s death.
Following the Wednesday funeral in Washington, Bush’s casket will be flown back to Houston for a service at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church, where Barbara Bush was memorialized in June.
Following that Thursday morning service, Bush’s body will be taken by train to the campus of Texas A&M in College Station, where the 41st president will be laid to rest next to Barbara and their daughter Robin at the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.