James Baker: George H.W. Bush embodied the 'Greatest Generation'

James Baker: George H.W. Bush embodied the 'Greatest Generation'

President George W. Bush sits at his desk in the Oval Office for the first time on Inaugural Day, in this January 20, 2001 file photo, as his father, former President George H.W. Bush looks on.

The fourth living former president, George W Bush, accompanied the hearse with his four living siblings and their partners, from the US Capitol where his father laid in state yesterday. President Bush will be buried at his final resting place at the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas.

For all the somber tributes to the late president's public service and strength of character, laughter filled the cathedral time after time. Others were given by Bush biographer Jon Meacham and former Republican senator Alan Simpson. Trump did not shake hands with Bill and Hillary Clinton, who looked straight ahead. What a great life he had.

"Bush did not endorse Trump in the 2016 presidential election but sent him a letter in January 2017 saying he would not be able to attend his inauguration because of health concerns, but wishing him the best".

The 11 a.m. service follow's Wednesday's funeral held at Washington National Cathedral. "It's called leadership. When George Bush was president of the United States of America, every single head of government in the world knew that they were dealing with a gentleman, a genuine leader, one who was distinguished, resolute and fearless".

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He was president from 1989-1993 and was known for overseeing a post-Cold War transition as well as the Gulf War.

The Trumps greeted the Obamas, shaking hands with them when they sat next to them at Bush's funeral. "They had just as much animus for Bush 41 and Bush 43 as they do Trump, for different reasons".

The caretaker who answered the phone at the time told Bush his father had been silent most of the day, though he noted George H.W. Bush would likely be able to hear him if he spoke up. The funeral of former President Ronald Reagan in 2004 brought together both Bushes, Clinton, Carter and Gerald Ford.

The funeral was the first time that Hillary Clinton and Trump have been together since his inauguration a year ago following their bitter presidential campaign. Trump also declared Wednesday a national day of mourning.

"I don't think it's respect for the human being if you talk smack about them, if you say the nastiest things about them, if you treat them as subhuman, and then you want to show up at their funeral". Barbara Bush passed away in April at age 92.

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