tv President George W. Bush Remarks at President George H.W. Bush - Washington... CSPAN December 6, 2018 6:44am-7:00am EST
none of us were ready for this day. we mourn his loss from our own lives and what he was to each of us. that is so personal, so intimate, so down inside. it would have been so much easier to celebrate his life with him here. but he is gone, irrevocably gone. and now that we have loosed our grip upon him, we shall always retain his memory in our hearts. god has come now to take him back. we all knew that on one unknown day he would return to his god. and now we give him up. we commend him to your loving hands. thank you for him. god rest his soul.
>> distinguished guests, including our presidents and first ladies, government officials, foreign dignitaries, and friends, we end our families all for being here. -- and our families thank you all for being here. i once heard it said of man that the idea is to die young as late as possible. [laughter] at age 85, a favorite pastime of
george h.w. bush was firing of his boat, the fidelity, and opening up the three 300 horsepower engines to fly, joyfully fly across the atlantic with the secret service folks straining to keep up. [laughter] at age 90, george h.w. bush parachuted out of an aircraft and landed on the grounds of saint anne's by the sea in kennebunkport, maine. the church where his mom was married and where he worshiped often. mother liked to say that he chose the location just in case the chute didn't open. [laughter] in his 90's, he took great delight when his closest pal, james baker, smuggled a bottle of grey goose vodka into his hospital room.
apparently it paired well with the steak that baker had delivered from morton's. [laughter] to his very last days, dads life was instructive. as he aged he taught us how to grow with dignity, humor, and kindness. when the good lord finally called, how to meet him with courage and the joy and promise of what lies ahead. one reason that dad knew how to die young is that he almost did it twice. when he was a teenager, a staph infection nearly took his life. a few years later he was alone in the pacific on a liferaft, praying that his rescuers would find him before the enemy did. god answered those prayers. turns out he had other plans for george h.w. bush. for dads part i think those brushes with death made him cherish the gift of life. he vowed to live every day to the fullest. dad was always busy.
a man in constant motion. but never too busy to share his love of life with those around him. he taught us to love the outdoors. he loved watching dogs flush a cubbie. copy. he loved landing the elusive striper. and once confined to a wheelchair he seemed happiest sitting in his favorite perch on the back porch of walker's point, contemplating the majesty of the atlantic. as he saw it it was bright and hopeful. he was a genuinely optimistic man. that optimism guided his children and made each of us believe that anything was possible. he continually brought into his horizons with daring decisions. -- broadened his horizons with daring decisions. he was a patriot. after high school he put college on hold and became a navy
fighter pilot as world war ii broke out. like many of his generation, he never talked about his service. until his time as a public figure forced his hand. we learned of the attack, the mission completed, the chute down. we learned of the death of his crewmates. we learned of the rescue. then another audacious decision, he moved his young family from the comforts of the east coast to odessa, texas. he and mom adjusted to their arid surroundings quickly. a tolerant man, he was kind and neighborly to the women with whom he mom, and i shared a , bathroom in our small duplex. even after he learned of their profession, ladies of the night. [laughter]
>> dad could relate to people from all walks of life. an empathetic man who valued character over pedigree. and he was no senate. he looked for the good in each -- and he was no cynic. he looked for the good in each person and he usually found it. dad taught us that public is noble and necessary. that one can serve with integrity and told true to the important values like faith and family. he strongly believed it was important to give back to the community and the country in which one lived. he recognized that serving others enriched the soul of the giver. to us his was the brightest of a thousand points of light. in victory he shared credit, when he lost, a he shouldered the blame. he accepted the failure is a
part of living a full life, but taught us never to be defined by failure. he showed us how setbacks can strengthen. none of his disappointments could compare with one of life's greatest tragedies, the loss of a young child. jeb and i were too young to remember the pain and agony that he and mom felt when our three-year-old sister died. we only learned later that dad, a man of quiet faith, prayed for her daily. he was sustained by the love of the almighty and the real and enduring love for mom. dad always believed that one day he would hug his precious robin again. he loved to laugh. especially at himself. he could tease and needle but never out of malice. he placed great value on a good joke. that's why he chose simpson to speak. [laughter]
on email he had a circle of friends with whom he shared and received of the latest jokes. his grading system for the quality of the joke was classic george bush. s werere sevens and eight considered huge winners. most of them off color. [laughter] he nurtured and honored his many friendships with a generous and .iving sole s --oul thousands of handwritten notes encourage, sympathize, and anxious friends and acquaintances. he had an enormous capacity to give of himself. many a person would tell you that dad became a mentor and father figure in their life. he listened and consoled, he was their friend.
i think of don rhodes, taylor blanton arnold schwarzenegger, , jim nance, and perhaps unlikeliest of all, the man who defeated him, bill clinton. my siblings and i refer to the guys in the group as brothers from other mothers. [laughter] he taught us that a day was not to be wasted. he played golf at a legendary pace. i always wondered why he insisted on speed golf. he is a good golfer. here's my conclusion, he played fast so that he could move on to the next event, to enjoy the rest of the day and expend his enormous energy. to live it all. he was born with just two settings. full throttle, dead sleep. [laughter] taught us what it means to be a wonderful father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. he was firm in his principles and supportive as we began to
seek our own ways. he encouraged and comforted but never steered. we tested his patients. i know i did. [laughter] but he always responded with a great gift of unconditional love. last friday when i was told he had minutes to live, i called him. the guy answering the phone said i think he can hear you, but he hasn't said anything for most of the day. i said -- daddy, i love you and you have been a wonderful father. the last words he would ever say on earth were i love you too. to us he was close to perfect. but not totally perfect. his short game was lousy. [laughter] he wasn't exactly fred astaire on the dance floor. [laughter]
the man couldn't stomach vegetables. [laughter] especially broccoli. [laughter] by the way, he passed these genetic defects along to us. [laughter] finally, every day of his 72 years of marriage, he taught us all what it means to be a great husband. he married his sweetheart, adored her, left and cried with her, was dedicated to her totally. in his old age she enjoyed watching police show reruns, the volume on high. [laughter] all the while holding mom's hand. after she died, he was strong, but all he really wanted to do was hold her hand again. he showed what it means to be a president that leads with courage and ask with love in his heart for the citizens of our country.
when the history books are written, they will say that george h.w. bush was a great president of the united dates. a diplomat of unmatched skill. a commander in chief of formidable accomplishment. a gentleman who did so with dignity and honor. the 41st president of the united states said that we cannot hope to only leave our children a bigger car and a bigger bank account. we must hope to give them a sense of what it means to be a loyal friend, a loving parent. a citizen who leaves his home and neighborhood and his town better than he found it. what do we want the men and women who work with us to say when we are no longer there? we are more driven to succeed then anyone around us? or if we stopped to ask that a
sick child had gotten better and stayed a moment to trade a word of friendship? well, dad, we will remember you for exactly that and much more. and we are going to miss you. your decency, sincerity, and kind soul will stay with us forever. through our tears let us know the blessings of knowing and loving you, a great and noble man. the best father a son or daughter can have. and in our grief, let us smile knowing that dad is hugging robin and holding mom's hand again. [applause]
[captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2018] here is some of what we are covering live on thursday. on c-span, a funeral service for w bush isgeorge h being held in houston at st. martin's episcopal church at 11:00 a.m. eastern. later, the house returns to debate and vote on the short-term spending bill to fund the federal government. at 5:15 p.m., president bush's remains are interred at the george bush presidential library station,m in college texas. on c-span2, the senate plans to vote on the temporary spending bill to avoid a government shutdown. and more live coverage on c-span in hopsenator james talks with students at the national defense university
about his priorities of chairman of the armed services committee. at 1:00 p.m., the common dance of the coast guard addresses white u.s. residents -- u.s. presence4 in the arctic is important. when the new congress takes office in january, it will have the youngest most diverse freshman class in recent history. class in history. new congress, new leaders prayed watch it live on c-span starting january 3. >> up next, live on "washington andnal," your calls comments prayed at 8:00, scott paul, the president of the alliance for american manufacturing talks about job cuts at american motors. then we focus on losses in the midterm elections and the new congress with repub