Former President George H.W. Bush will be honored with a state funeral, the White House announced on Saturday, and President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump will attend.
Additionally, Trump will speak with former President George W. Bush on Saturday morning to offer his condolences.
The president and first lady Melania Trump were notified late Thursday night of the former president’s passing, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement on Saturday.
The date of the funeral, which will take place at the Washington National Cathedral, was not announced.
There will be a state funeral for George H.W. Bush and Dec. 5 will be a National Day of Mourning
President Trump and Melania Trump will attend Bush’s funeral, a date for which has not been announced
Bush’s funeral will take place at the Washington National Cathedral
Melania attended Barbara Bush’s funeral in April
However, Wednesday, Dec. 5, will be a National Day of Mourning.
‘The President and First Lady were notified late last night of President George H.W. Bush’s passing. President Trump is scheduled to speak with President George W. Bush this morning and offer his condolences on behalf of himself, the First Lady, and the entire country,’ Sanders said.
‘A state funeral is being arranged with all of the accompanying support and honors. The President will designate Wednesday, December 5th as a National Day Of Mourning. He and the First Lady will attend the funeral at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.’
The 41st president of the United States, Bush, 93, died just eight months after the loss of his wife Barbara, whom he had been married to for 73 years.
The funeral will take place in the same cathedral where the late Sen. John McCain’s memorial service was held in September.
The Trumps were pointedly not invited to that event although Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump attended.
Melania Trump attended Barbara Bush’s funeral in April.
Other honors for the former president, such as lying in state in the capitol rotunda, have not been announced.
State funerals typically involve a military presence, ceremonial pomp, and religious observance.
Bush, who is the last veteran to serve as president, will be expected to receive full military honors.
In an official proclamation announcing the former president’s death, Trump ordered flags on all public buildings, grounds and military vessels to be at half-staff for 30 days after Bush’s death.
The president was criticized for not offering a similar offer to McCain, when the senator died in August.
Trump also officially ordered the National Day of Mourning and called on the public to ‘assemble on that day in their respective places of worship’ to honor the late president.
‘NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, by the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, in honor and tribute to the memory of President George H.W. Bush, and as an expression of public sorrow, do hereby direct that the flag of the United States be displayed at half-staff at the White House and on all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval vessels of the Federal Government in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its Territories and possessions for a period of 30 days from the day of his death,’ Trump proclaimed.
‘I also direct that, for the same length of time, the representatives of the United States in foreign countries shall make similar arrangements for the display of the flag at half‑staff over their embassies, legations, consular offices, and other facilities abroad, including all military facilities and naval vessels and stations.’
‘I hereby order that suitable honors be rendered by units of the Armed Forces under orders of the Secretary of Defense.’
‘I do further appoint December 5, 2018, as a National Day of Mourning throughout the United States. I call on the American people to assemble on that day in their respective places of worship, there to pay homage to the memory of President George H.W. Bush. I invite the people of the world who share our grief to join us in this solemn observance,’ his proclamation read.
Trump, 72, tweeted about the man the former president, mentioning their time spent together, Bush’s pride in his family, and the American leader’s accomplishments.
The last state funeral at the cathedral was the late Sen. John McCain’s in October
State funerals, like Sen. McCain’s above, have a heavy military presence; as the last veteran to serve as president, Bush’s likely will too
President Trump and Melania Trump were not invited to McCain’s funeral but Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner (above) were
Trump and Bush pose for a photo at a Waldorf Astoria event when Trump was a real estate mogul who hadn’t yet stepped into the world of politics and Bush was a VP hopeful in April 1988
The leader’s morning tweet said he ‘led a long, successful and beautiful life’
‘President George H.W. Bush led a long, successful and beautiful life,’ he posted on Twitter Saturday. ‘Whenever I was with him I saw his absolute joy for life and true pride in his family. His accomplishments were great from beginning to end. He was a truly wonderful man and will be missed by all!’
Trump met Bush at a campaign event when the late American leader was a Vice President hopeful in April 1988.
The pair posed for a photo at a Waldorf Astoria event when Trump was a real estate mogul who hadn’t yet stepped into the world of politics.
On Friday night Trump praised the 41st president’s ‘essential authenticity,’ ‘disarming wit,’ ‘unwavering commitment to faith’ and said he always ‘set the bar higher’ early on Saturday morning.
‘Melanie and I join with a grieving Nation to mourn the loss of former President George HW Bush, who passed away last night,’ Trump wrote.
Trump and Bush did not have the best relationship.
In July, at a campaign rally in Montana,
to swipe at former president George H. W. Bush, Trump mocked the phrase ‘a thousand points of lights,’ which was coined by Bush during the 1988 presidential campaign.
‘What the hell was that, by the way, thousand points of light? What did that mean? Does anyone know,’ said Trump. ‘I know one thing: Make America Great Again, we understand. Putting America first, we understand. Thousand points of light, I never quite got that one.’
Former first lady Laura Bush, former President George W. Bush, former President Bill Clinton, former Secretary of State and first lady Hilary Clinton, former President Barack Obama, former President George H. W. Bush, former first lady Michelle Obama and current first lady Melania Trump pose for a group photo at the funeral ceremony for the late first lady Barbara Bush
The 41st president of the United States, Bush, 93, died just eight months after the loss of his wife Barbara, whom he had been married to for 73 years (pictured together at a 2006 event)
A date for President George H.W. Bush’s funeral has yet to be announced
The elder Bush did support Trump’s candidacy – Bush’s son Jeb lost to Trump in the 2016 Republican primary – and was reported to have voted for Hillary Clinton.
Additionally, Bush called Trump a ‘blowhard’ in a book about him and his son, fellow former President, George W Bush.
In historian Mark Updegrove’s book titled ‘The Last Republicans,’ H.W. said of Trump, ‘He’s a blowhard.’
His son, 43rd President George W Bush, joined his dad in criticizing Trump.
‘This guy doesn’t know what it means to be president,’ he said.
Trump hit back at the time, through a statement made to CNN by a White House official.
‘If one presidential candidate can disassemble a political party, it speaks volumes about how strong a legacy its past two presidents really had,’ the official said.
‘And that begins with the Iraq war, one of the greatest foreign policy mistakes in American history.’
That was all forgotten on Saturday though, when Trump took to Twitter to deliver a message of condolence for the loss of 41.
‘Through his essential authenticity, disarming wit, and unwavering commitment to faith, family and country, President Bush inspired generations of his fellow Americans to public service – to be, in his words, ‘a thousand points of light’ illuminating the greatness, hope, and opportunity of America to the world,’ Trump said.
‘President Bush always found a way to set the bar higher,’ the current president went on to say.
‘As a young man, he captained the Yale baseball team, and then went on to serve as the youngest aviator in the United States Navy during the Second World War. Later in life, he rose to the pinnacle of American politic as a Congressman from Texas, envoy to China, Director of Central Intelligence, Vice President of eight years to President Ronald Reagan, and finally President of the United States.
‘With sound judgment, common sense and unflappable leadership, President Bush guided our Nation, and the world, to a peaceful and victorious conclusion of the Cold War. As President, he set the stage for the decades of prosperity that have followed. And through all that he accomplished, he remained humble, following the quiet call to service that gave him a clear sense of direction.
‘Along with his full life of service to country, we will remember President Bush for his devotion to family – especially the love of his life, Barbara. His example lives on, and will continue to stir future Americans to pursue a greater cause. Our hearts ache with his his loss, and we, with the American people, send our prayers to the entire Bush family, as we honor the life and legacy of 41.’
While some former leaders including John F. Kennedy (left) and Ronald Reagan (right, with George H.W. Bush) were honoured with a state ceremony in Washington in a process steeped in tradition, others families have chosen to eschew the pomp and ceremony of the event
While Bush’s body will likely lie in state in the US capitol, he will be buried alongside his beloved wife, who died in April this year, aged 92
Traditionally five days in length, presidential state funerals are meticulously choreographed and involve a large amount of protocol.
John F. Kennedy’s funeral in November 1963 was modeled after Abraham Lincoln’s, as requested by his wife Jacqueline Kennedy in her first public statement after her husband’s assassination.
The rich tradition of US state funerals
Traditionally five days long, the ceremony involves a funeral procession in in the state capitol, while a presidential proclamation will be issued allowing for the flag outside of the White House, and all other governmental buildings, to be flown at half-mast.
On the day of interment for a president, a 21-gun salute traditionally is fired starting at noon at all military installations.
State leaders from around the world are invited to the service and burial, while there is the option for a funeral procession down Pennsylvania Avenue.
Eight presidents have opted for this including the four who were assassinated in office.
Richard Nixon’s wishes were to hold a simple service at the Nixon Library in California, after which he was buried alongside his late wife Patricia.
Coordination for the events is conducted by the army’s Military District of Washington and former presidents will have given some indication toward their preference while in office and following their administration.
While Bush’s body will likely lie in state in the US capitol, he will be buried alongside his beloved wife, who died in April this year, aged 92.
That will be at the George H. W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum in Texas. Barbara’s grave was opened to visitors three weeks after her burial, prompting visitors from all over the country to pay their final respects.
For nearly 80 years, the couple had been side-by-side, supporting one another through good times, and bad, facing spectacular triumphs and heartbreaking sadness together.
‘Still in love with the man I married 72 years ago,’ Barbara said of her incredible relationship with George shortly before she passed away at their home in Houston on April 14.