George H.W. Bush laid to rest at presidential library in Texas

By Daniel Uria and Clyde Hughes
Memorial services honor former President George H.W. Bush
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Dec. 6 (UPI) -- Former President George H.W. Bush was transported to his final resting place, via train, after an emotional funeral at St. Martin's Episcopal Church in Houston on Thursday.

Some 1,200 mourners attended the invitation-only funeral, a day after the 41st president was honored during services at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.


"He possessed the classic virtues of our civilization and of his faith, the same virtues that express what is really best about our country," James A. Baker III, Bush's former chief of staff and friend of more than 60 years, said in his eulogy, the Houston Chronicle reported.

"History has shown that few families accomplished as much as his has. His legacy lives on with his children, who have contributed so very much to what makes our nation great."


Baker was joined by Bush's grandson, George P. Bush, in eulogizing the former president during the the funeral service.

"In our times together, our big, wonderful and competitive family saw the goodness that led to his greatness," the younger Bush, the Texas land commissioner, said of his grandfather.

He earlier told told KXAS-TV that he was "overwhelmed with emotion" at the opportunity to speak about the former president he knew as "Gampy," adding he would speak from the heart about the man more than the political figure.

"So much has been said about his public career and what he's given to his country and state. I am just going to talk about the man," he said. "I had a chance to visit with him twice in the last month before his passing and had a chance to say my last goodbyes. I talked with him the night of his passing and it's going to hurt, just like anybody else who's lost a loved one, it takes time to overcome but I know that in time it will get easier."

Baker, who also served as secretary of state under Bush from 1989 to 1992, said in an op-ed in The Washington Post -- writing with Bush's son, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush -- the former president helped pull him "out of despair" after the death of his first wife.


"As a friend, George H.W. Bush was without peer, always there in good times and bad," they wrote. "He routinely quoted the verse of William Butler Yeats: 'Think where man's glory most begins and ends, and say my glory was I had such friends.' Those words were more than poetry to him. They were a way of life."

After the funeral, Bush's casket was transported to the campus of Texas A&M University in College Station in a Union Pacific train painted in the colors of the Air Force One and adorned with the number "4141."

The rail car carrying Bush's casket was equipped with glass on both sides that allowed mourners to see as it passed by. After its arriving at College Station a motorcade transported Bush to his final resting place. The Texas A&M University Corps of Cadets formed a cordon on Barbara Bush Drive to honor the arrival.

Bush was buried at the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum, next to wife Barbara Bush, who died in April, and daughter Robin, who died of leukemia in 1953 at the age of 3.


The private interment ceremony featured a U.S. Navy 21-strike fighter aircraft flyover in the "missing man" formation, with the aircraft flying over the presidential library from north to south.

There was a 21-gun salute during the committal service, and the firing party fired three volleys as the bugler sounded the "Taps" call to close out the ceremony.

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