President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump made an unannounced visit Monday evening to the Capitol Rotunda where the casket of former President George H.W. Bush lies in state.
Trump and his Secret Service detail were photographed near the Capitol building, CBS News reported.
The President will attend Bush’s memorial service at Washington National Cathedral on Wednesday despite the years-long tension between Trump and the Bush dynasty.
News of the visit broke hours after Trump’s Vice President, Mike Pence, delivered a stirring tribute to the 41st President.
Three months before his death, after he was no longer signing autographs, Bush made an exception for a marine aviator who was about to be awarded his golden wings after graduating from flight school, Pence revealed on Monday during a ceremony honoring the late U.S. president.
That young aviator was Marine 1st Lt. Michael Pence, the VP’s son, who had landed his first tailhook earlier that summer on the U.S.S. George H.W. Bush.
‘Congratulations on receiving your wings of gold, I know how proud you and your family are at this moment,’ a letter from the 94-year-old president said, according to the elder Pence. ‘Though we have not met I share the pride your father has for you during this momentous occasion, and I wish you many CAVU days ahead. All the best, G Bush.’
The acronym CAVU stands for ‘ceiling and visibility unlimited’ and has been used by naval pilots since WWII, Pence explained at a service for Bush in the Capitol Rotunda in Washington.
Bush told his children before his death that the term ‘describes my own life as it has been over the years and as it is right now, ceiling and visibility unlimited.’
‘Now that may well describe the essence of this man, and it may well have been his vision,’ Pence said as he paid homage to the late president on behalf of the current administration. ‘The vision he had for his life, for his children, his children’s children and his country — no barriers, no boundaries, no limits.’
President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump made an unannounced visit Monday evening to the Capitol Rotunda where the casket of former President George H.W. Bush lies in state
The motorcade with President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump is seen above heading to the Capitol to pay their respects to former President George H. W. Bush
Three months before his death, after he was no longer signing autographs, George H.W. Bush made an exception for a marine aviator who was about to be awarded his golden wings after graduating from flight school, Vice President Mike Pence revealed on Monday during a ceremony honoring the late U.S. president
That young aviator was Marine 1st Lt. Michael Pence, the VP’s son, who had landed his first tailhook earlier that summer on the U.S.S. George H.W. Bush. He’s seen here at his winging ceremony with his father in September 2018
Bush wished Pence’s son ‘many CAVU days ahead’ in a letter he sent him. The acronym CAVU stands for ‘ceiling and visibility unlimited’ and has been used by naval pilots since WWII, Pence explained at a service for Bush in the Capitol Rotunda in Washington
Pence said that Bush shared the same message with his own son in the letter that was dated August of this year and arrived in time for his son’s winging in September after he wrote the former president asking for his autograph.
‘I took the liberty of writing the ship’s namesake to ask for a small favor. I didn’t write him as a cice president to a former president, I just write as a proud dad of a marine aviator to a former navy pilot,’ Pence explained. ‘I asked him to sign a picture of the flight deck that I could give to my son.’
The vice president said that he was told by Bush’s staff that the former president had long since ended the practice. ‘And we understood that,’ Pence said in his eulogy.
‘But little to my surprise, just in time for my sons winging, there came not only a signed photograph but of course a letter, hand-signed as well August 2018,’ said Pence, a former congressman from Indiana.
The remains of the late U.S. president arrived to lie in state late Monday afternoon as family members, senators, congressmen, cabinet secretaries, members of the Supreme Court, and distinguished guests, gathered in the Capitol Rotunda to honor the 41st President of the United State.
‘We mourn with those who mourn and grieve with those who grieve. But we do not grieve like those who have no hope, for President George Herbert Walker Bush had that hope,’ Pence said of the faith that he said ‘sustained’ the later president. ‘And we pray that faith will be a source of comfort, for all those who mourn the loss of this good man and great American.’
Pence said: ‘President George Herbert Walker Bush loved his family and he served his country. His example will always inspire and his lifetime of service will be enshrined in the hearts of the American people forever.’
Trump and his wife were not present for the procession where Pence, a former congressman, represented the current White House.
The sitting president ordered flags to fly at half-staff at the White House and declared Wednesday a national day of mourning.
He was expected to visit privately with the Bush family at Blair House, located across the street from the presidential office and residence on Pennsylvania Avenue, and to attend funeral services in Washington for the late president.
Trump has bad blood with the Bush family and did not attend the late first lady Barbara Bush’s funeral in April. His wife Melania was photographed with every living president, including George H.W. Bush, in her husband’s absence.
U.S. Navy pilot George Bush sits in the cockpit of his torpedo bomber “Barbara III”, named after his girlfriend and future wife Barara Pierce
Navy pilot George Bush sits in a VT-51 Avenger in 1944 in this photo provided by the George Bush Presidential Library
Both Trumps will go to the National Cathedral on Wednesday the White House has confirmed, where the late president will be honored in remarks by his ex-president son, George W. Bush, and not by Donald Trump.
In the 2016 campaign, the businessman harangued Bush’s elder son for the Iraq War and called his younger son ‘low-energy’ as they traded barbs.
The former Republican president subsequently referred to Trump as a ‘blowhard’ and revealed after the election that he voted for Democrat Hillary Clinton.
On Wednesday, the former first lady and her husband Bill announced Monday that they would attend Bush’s funeral in Washington but not the second service this week in Houston as Bush’s flag-draped coffin was laid to rest on the catafalque built to rest the remains of Abraham Lincoln beneath the Capitol’s Dome to lie in state until Wednesday morning.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell noted Bush made a similar journey to the Capitol 30 years ago, when came to be inaugurated as the 41st president of the United States.
McConnell recalled Bush’s words from his inaugural address: ‘He said we met on democracy’s front porch – a good place to talk as neighbors, a good place to talk as neighbors and friends.’
The remains of the late President George H.W. Bush are carried into the Capitol rotunda
The U.S. flag above the White House flew at half-staff in Bush’s honor on Monday, along with flags at all other federal buildings
Trump has bad blood with the Bush family and did not attend the late first lady Barbara Bush’s funeral in April. His wife Melania was photographed with every living president, including George H.W. Bush, in her husband’s absence.
‘Today this hero has returned to the Capitol a final time not on the front porch of democracy this time but here in its hallowed cathedral,’ he said.
Bush’s remains arrived at the U.S. Capitol on Monday after a 1,200-mile flight from Houston and a dramatic motorcade that grabbed the nation’s attention with flashing lights and pealing sirens.
A military band played ‘Hail to the Chief’ and a four-cannon salute rang out as the sun was setting over the Capitol on an unseasonably warm December afternoon.
The afternoon pallbearers, military men all, hoisted the casket up the formidable Capitol steps in cadence, making their way up the marble stone staircase.
As ‘A Mighty Fortress is Our God’ echoed off the pavement, the setting sun seemed to bore into George W. Bush, the late president’s eldest son who also shared his office.
The younger George stared ahead stoically as his father’s coffin and its flag drapery passed. Members of the Bush family joined him atop the Capitol to watch their elder statesman’s remains arrive to lie in state beneath its dome.
Shadows of men and women in military dress uniforms lengthened. Ceremonial honor guardsmen’s sabers glinted in the late light. And with 55-degree temperatures holding on a December day, America began to say its goodbyes.
Inside, a list of dignitaries awaited just the ninth U.S. president to lie in state there. They included Gen. Colin Powell, the late President Bush’s secretary of state, and James Baker, his lifelong friend who served him for decades in his political campaigns, at the White House, and across the globe.
The sun was setting as former President George H.W. Bush’s remains were brought to the U.S. Capitol
His son, former President George W. Bush, blinked back tears as he stood atop the Capitol stairs to watch his father’s arrival
Representatives of the various branches of the military carried his coffin up the Capitol stairs
The former president arrives atop the Capitol stairs, he will lie in state in the rotunda until Wednesday
Bush died Friday at the age of 94. He will lie in state in the Capitol Rotunda until Wednesday morning, when the week’s series of somber events continues with a memorial service at the National Cathedral.
Former White House Chief of Staff John Sununu, former Vice President Dick Cheney, and former Secretary of State Colin Powell were also on hand to honor Bush, along with Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Monday.
His he arrival ceremony on the Capitol plaza involved breathtaking views of a silent sunset that shone off the Supreme Court and Library of Congress, reflecting the sadness of a nation that senses the uncertainty of a page turning.
George H.W. Bush’s casket reached an airbase near Washington aboard the plane that he and his son George W. Bush both used as Air Force One.
Former first lady Laura Bush, former President George W. Bush and members of the Bush family hold their hands over their hearts as they watch the former president arrive to lie in state
President George H.W. Bush’s remains arrived at the U.S. Capitol on Monday afternoon, driven in a Cadillac hearse from the air base where they arrived from Houston
Military formations from all of America’s armed services flanked the hearse on the Capitol plaza; Bush’s casket will remain in the Rotunda for more than 40 hours
The U.S. flag flew at half-staff on Monday prior to the arrival of the casket of former U.S. President George H.W. Bush at the U.S. Capitol in Washington
Memebers of the Supreme Court including Justices Brett Kavanaugh (L), Neil Gorsuch (C), and John Roberts (R) waited in the Capitol Rotunda, where Bush he will lie in state until Wednesady morning
Bush, the 41st U.S. president, died Friday and will be laid to rest this week following four days of ceremonies and memorials
The chief upholsterer of the House of Representatives vacuumed the Lincoln catafalque as preparations for the arrival of the Bush’s body
The late president’s casket had a military escort on both ends of Monday’s flight between Houston and Washington, with a group of eight pallbearers from a combination of the U.S. military services
The elder Bush spent four years in Congress, one at the helm of the CIA, eight as vice president and four in the White House.
‘Special Air Mission 41’ – the aircraft known as Air Force One when living presidents are aboard – touched down just before 3:30 p.m. at Joint Base Andrews, where a Cadillac hearse flying the U.S. flag and bearing the Seal of the President of the United States waited on an expansive tarmac.
Along with a military band and honor guards arrayed like parade-ground marchers without a commander to review them, a contingent of 114 crew members of the USS George H.W. Bush stood at attention while the jumbo jetliner touched down and taxied.
Aboard the plane with the former president’s remains were his sons George W. and Neil and their families. George W. Bush was America’s 43rd president. Former first lady Laura Bush also made the trip from Houston.
So, too, did Sully, the late president’s service dog.
Jeb Bush, the former Florida governor who ran unsuccessfully for president in 2016, joined the extended family along with his wife Columba, on the tarmac.
‘Special Air Mission 41,’ the flight carrying the remains of the late former U.S. President George W. Bush, touched down Monday afternoon at Joint Base Andrews near Washington, D.C.
Former President George W. Bush (center) and former first lady Laura Bush (right) joined brother Neil Bush and his family deplaning from the jet that serves as Air Force One
A contingent of 114 crew members of the USS George H.W. Bush, a modern aircraft carrier, stood at attention while the jumbo jetliner touched down and taxied on Monday
Former President George W. Bush (left) emerged from the same plane that ferried him around the world from 2001 to 2009, with his first lady at his side
Jeb Bush (right of center, front row) joined the rest of the family at Joint Base Andrews from Florida; his wife Columba is to his left
Family and former staffers attended a brief departure ceremony Monday at Ellington Field Joint Reserve Base, a Texas Air National Guard base, watching as a contingent of eight soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines took Bush’s flag-draped casket to the Boeing 747 for a last trip to Washington.
At Ellington and at Joint Base Andrews in D.C.’s Maryland suburbs, 21-gun salutes boomed and military bands played ‘Hail to the Chief.’
At JBA, they also played ‘America’ as a color guard hoisting a yellow-fringed U.S. flag advanced in front of the pallbearers in a somber scene Americans see only a few times each generation.
Bush’s casket on Monday occupied part of one cabin onboard whose seats were removed from the plane by a flight crew after Trump’s return Sunday from the G20 summit in Argentina.
Specialized scissor-lift trucks at both airfields delivered and retrieved the casket with only stiff-blowing breezes as soundtracks.
‘Bush 43’ and Laura, the former first lady, climbed the plane’s stairs in Houston and gave a somber wave, followed by the rest of of the extended family.
A few minutes later ‘Poppy,’ as the grandchildren of the man who was once the U.S. military’s youngest fighter pilot called him, was airborne.
In Washington, the centerpiece of the week’s remembrances will be a memorial service at the National Cathedral. President Trump will attend but will not speak.
The Bushes have little affection for Trump, who belittled Jeb Bush relentlessly during the 2016 campaign.
Sitting presidents have delivered eulogies at the last three presidential funerals. George W. Bush eulogized Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan. Bill Clinton spoke at Richard Nixon’s funeral.
Sully, the yellow Labrador retriever service dog of former President George H.W. Bush, walked thorugh Joint Base Andrews after the arrival of ‘Special Air Mission 41’
The level of ceremonial gravity on Monday is something Americans see only once or twice per generation
The remains of President George H.W. Bush traveled from Texas to Washington, D.C. on Monday aboard Special Air Mission 41, the temporary callsign of the plane that serves as Air Force One whenever the current president is on board
A group of eight pallbearers representing branches of the U.S. armed forces took Bush’s remains from a hearse in Houston and carried it to the Air Force One jet at Ellington Field Joint Reserve Base
Former President George W. Bush and former first lady Laura Bush waved as they boarded the plane that once served as his Air Force One transport; on Monday they were aboard to accompany the remains of George’s father back to Washington
Bush’s casket wasn’t loaded directly onto the plane; military pallbearers placed it on a truck that is normally used to carry food and water to the four-engine jumbo jet; the truck’s cargo space is mounted on a scissor-lift that can reach an aft door
The Texas-based Bush clan including George Wl, Laura and Neil stood with hands on hearts during Monday morning’s departure ceremony
Secret Service agents had carried the president’s body out of the George H. Lewis Funeral Home in Houston, placing it in a hearse for a motorcade-drive to Ellington Field Joint Reserve Base, where the world’s most famous aircraft awaited.
As the procession took up the southbound lanes of Interstate 45, motorists driving along the northbound lanes pulled over in a miles-long show of respect.
The departure ceremony featured a 21-gun salute and a U.S. Army Band contingent from Fort Sill, Oklahoma playing ‘Hail to the Chief,’ plus the four ‘Ruffles and Flourishes’ trumpet fanfares that precede it.
The late 41st president’s son Neil also accompanied his body on the unique Boeing 747, renamed ‘Special Air Mission 41’ for the flight, as it travels to Joint Base Andrews in the Maryland suburbs of Washington.
Sully will be reassigned to a wounded warrior at Walter Reed Naval Medical Center near Washington. The dog was photographed lying in front of Bush’s casket at the funeral home on Monday.
The pair of planes that serve as President Trump’s ‘Air Force One’ jets were first placed into service during George H.W. Bush’s time in office. They are scheduled to be retired in 2021.
The Lincoln catafalque, a wooden platform that once supported the coffin of America’s 16th president, was placed in the center of the Capitol Rotunda on Monday in preparations for the arrival of Bush’s casket
invited guests watched soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines carrying the flag-draped coffin on Monday morning
Pallbearers, all members of the U.S. Secret Service, brought Bush’s casket out of a Houston funeral home Monday morning and loaded it into a hearse for a motorcade-drive to Ellington Field, where the presidential Boeing 747 awaited
Joint service members rehearsed on Sunday for the arrival of Bush’s remains at the U.S. Capitol, where he will lie in state in the Rotunda
After a public viewing at an Episcopal church in Houston, Bush’s casket will be placed on a Union Pacific train car and pulled 70 miles to the town of College Station, home of Texas A&M University, where his presidential library is located.
Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses Grant, Franklin Roosevelt and Dwight Eisenhower were honored in the same way, traveling to their final resting places on trains that Americans lined up to see as they passed.
The 41st President will be carried to his final rest wearing socks (left) that pay tribute to his lifetime of service, starting as an 18-year-old naval aviator; at right, Brian Blake, former communications director at the George H.W. Bush Library and Museum, paused Saturday in front of a statue of the former president
Neil Bush, right, and his family, walked out after the family service at the Lewis Funeral Home; Sully, the late president’s service dog, exited with them
The locomotive chosen for his final journey was customized in Bush’s honor in 2005 and painted with the number ‘4141’ in his honor. He marveled at its unveiling that year and asked to take it for a ride.
On Thursday his casket will be in a train car with Plexiglas windows to allow people to see it during the trip.
The 41st president died at his Houston home on Friday night, seven months after his wife Barbara passed away.
After services in Washington, attended by President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump, there will be another funeral in Houston on Thursday followed by burial at the Bush Presidential Library in College Station, Texas.
Bush will be laid to rest alongside his wife of 73 years and Robin Bush, their daughter who died of leukemia in 1953 at age 3.
Trump tweeted late Monday morning: ‘Looking forward to being with the Bush Family to pay my respects to President George H.W. Bush.’
After a public viewing at an Episcopal church in Houston, Bush’s casket will be placed on a Union Pacific train car and pulled by this customized locomotive to his final resting place
The 70-mile journey to College Station, Texas will take about 2-1/2 hours on Thursday; College Station is home to Texas A&M University, where Bush’s presidential library and his family burial plot are located
Sully, the late President Bush’s service dog, lay in front of his casket at the funeral home in Houston on Monday
FOUR DAYS OF CEREMONIES DURING FUNERAL WEEK FOR PRESIDENT GEORGE H.W. BUSH
Former President George H.W. Bush will be honored during several public and private events in Houston and Washington before his burial Thursday in Texas.
Four days of events for Bush, who died Friday at age 94, include a state funeral at Washington’s National Cathedral, a private service at his longtime church in Houston and public viewings in both cities. He will be buried next to his wife Barbara and their daughter Robin who died in 1953.
TRANSPORT FROM HOUSTON TO WASHINGTON
Bush’s body will be transported by a motorcade Monday morning from a Houston funeral home to Ellington Field Joint Reserve Base, a Texas Air National Guard base. The casket will be loaded onto a plane during a departure ceremony scheduled to start at 10:30 a.m. CST and flown to Joint Base Andrews in Maryland.
Relatives accompanying the casket will include his sons, former President George W. Bush and Neil Bush, along with members of their immediate families. The rest of the Bush family is expected to be at Joint Base Andrews when the body arrives.
Houston will host a public tribute to Bush on Monday night. Mayor Sylvester Turner has urged attendees to wear colorful socks, a nod to the former president’s fondness for sporting loud socks often emblazoned with unusual patterns during public events.
Bush spokesman Jim McGrath tweeted Monday that Bush will be laid to rest wearing gray socks honoring his days as a naval aviator.
STATE FUNERAL IN WASHINGTON
In Washington, Bush will lie in state in the rotunda of the U.S. Capitol from Monday at 7:30 p.m. EST until Wednesday at 8:45 a.m. EST. His casket will be transported by motorcade Wednesday morning to the National Cathedral, where a state funeral will be held at 11 a.m. EST. President Donald Trump, who ordered federal offices closed on Wednesday for a national day of mourning, is to attend with first lady Melania Trump.
RETURN TO HOUSTON
Following the service at the National Cathedral, Bush will be flown to Houston on Wednesday with a scheduled arrival of around 4:30 p.m. CST. His body will be transported by motorcade to St. Martin’s Episcopal Church, where he and his wife regularly worshipped. A public viewing of Bush’s casket will be held at the church from 6:45 p.m. CST on Wednesday until 6 a.m. CST on Thursday.
On Thursday, a private funeral service with about 1,200 invited guests will be held at the church starting at 10 a.m. CST. After the hour-long service, a motorcade will transport Bush’s casket to a train station north of Houston, near the international airport named after Bush.
A ceremony will be held at the train station as Bush’s casket is loaded onto a Union Pacific train. The train will take about 2½ hours to travel roughly 70 miles (113 kilometers) to the city of College Station, home to Bush’s presidential library at Texas A&M University.
The locomotive has been painted the colors of the Air Force One plane used during Bush’s presidency and bears the number “4141” in honor of the 41st president. The casket will be in a car with Plexiglas windows to allow people to see it during the trip, according to family spokesman Jim McGrath.
BURIAL IN COLLEGE STATION
The train is scheduled to arrive in College Station on Thursday around 3:45 p.m. CST. Bush’s casket will then be transported by motorcade to the presidential library, where he will be buried at the gated family plot near his wife and their daughter Robin, who died of leukemia at age 3. Barbara Bush died on April 17 at their Houston home. The couple was married for 73 years , longer than any other U.S. presidential couple.
Ceremonies at the presidential library will include a missing man formation flyover. The casket will then be rolled along a path through woods, over a bridge and over a creek for burial during a private graveside service with Bush’s family.