Former president George H.W. Bush will lie in state next week at the U.S. Capitol, giving the American public an opportunity to bid farewell to the 41st president, and then will be honoured with a state funeral Wednesday morning at the Washington National Cathedral before being returned to Houston for burial.
Bush’s remains will be flown Monday morning from Ellington Field in Houston to the Joint Base Andrews military facility in Maryland, according to a statement released Saturday night by federal authorities.
The public will be able to pay its respects to Bush from 7:30 p.m. Monday to 7 a.m. Wednesday at the U.S. Capitol Rotunda in Washington.
A state funeral will be held at the Washington National Cathedral, beginning at 11 a.m. Wednesday.
The late President’s remains will then be returned to Houston on Wednesday afternoon. A funeral service is planned at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Houston, beginning at 10 a.m. local time.
On Thursday, the president’s casket will be taken by train to College Station, Texas, accompanied by Bush family members and close friends. A funeral procession will then travel on George Bush Drive toward the Bush Library complex.
Bush will be buried on Thursday in a family plot behind the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum at Texas A&M University, alongside his wife and former first lady, Barbara, and daughter Robin, university officials said in a statement on Saturday.
Barbara Bush passed away in April at the age of 92. Robin died in 1953 at 3-years-old.
President Donald Trump and first lady Melania also announced they will attend Bush’s funeral at the National Cathedral. Wednesday will be declared a national day of mourning, Trump said. Trump signed an executive order directing federal agencies and departments to close Wednesday “as a mark of respect” for Bush.
“He was a very fine man,” Trump said of Bush, who died Friday night in Houston at the age of 94. “He led a full life, and a very exemplary life, too.”
Trump said he spoke with former president George W. Bush Saturday morning and offered his condolences.
In brief remarks at the G-20 summit in Argentina, Trump praised a presidential predecessor he has sometimes clashed with while in office. Trump said he cancelled a scheduled a press conference out of respect for the Bush family.
A plane used as Air Force One will carry Bush’s casket from Houston to Washington for memorial services, Trump said.
The president’s fleet of planes have been used for that purpose in the past. A plane that serves as Air Force One carried former president Ronald Reagan’s casket to Washington.
A plane used to fly the vice president recently carried the body of Sen. John McCain to the city for services.
“Air Force One will be taking myself and a group of our people back to Washington,” Trump said during a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday evening. “It will then be reset, and it will be sent to Houston to pick up the casket of President Bush and it will be sent back to Washington.”
Trump called it “a special tribute that he deserves very much.”
The state funeral for the 41st president, whose death sparked tributes from around the world and across the political aisle, will be the first presidential funeral since Gerald Ford died in 2006.
Bush’s death comes months after the passing of his wife of 73 years, Barbara. The former first lady died in April. Her memorial service in Houston drew hundreds of thousands of people from past presidents and pizzeria owners to heads of state and historians. Noticeably absent was Trump, who declined an invitation “out of respect” for the Bushes.
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