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tv   MSNBC Live With Craig Melvin  MSNBC  December 5, 2018 8:00am-9:00am PST

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>> the schedule calling for the body to enter the national cathedral at 11:00 a.m. it is right now 10:59 and 50 seconds east coast time. >> always on time.
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>> former president george w. bush has dismounted now, and members of the bush family are getting out. they will walk down the center aisle at the national cathedral. >> jeb bush there giving his brother an embrace. i think this is going to be a tough one for 43. >> a challenge. >> looks emotional already. laura bush is his rock. she's holding on to him tight, rubbing his arm. .
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with faith in jesus christ, we receive the body of our brother george for burial. let us pray with confidence to god the giver of life that he will raise him to perfection in the company of saints. deliver your servant, george sovereign lord christ from all evil and set him free from every bond that he may rest with all your saints in the eternal habitations where with the father and the holy spirit you live and reign one god forever and ever amen. let us pray also for all who mourn, that they may cast their care on god and know the consolation of his love. almighty god look with pity upon the sorrow of your servants for
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whom we pray. remember them gracious god in mercy, nourish them with patience, comfort them with a sense of your goodness, lift your countenance upon them, and give them peace through jesus christ our lord. amen.
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♪ ♪
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i am the resurrection and i am the life says the lord. whoever has faith in me shall have life, even though he die, and everyone who has life and has committed himself to me in
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faith shall not die forever. as for me, i know that my redeemer lives and he will stand upon the earth. after my awaking, he will raise me up, and in my body i shall see god. i myself shall see, and my eyes behold him, who is my friend and not a stranger. none of us liveth to himself and none becomes his own master when he dies. if we have life, we are alive in the lord, and if we die, we die in the lord, so then whether we live or die, we are the lord's possession. happy from now on are those who die in the lord, so it says says
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the spirit for they rest from their labors.
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the lord be with you. >> and also with you. >> let us pray. oh, god whose mercies cannot be numbered, accept our prayers on behalf of your servant george and grant him an entrance into
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the land of light and joy in the fellowship of your saints through jesus christ our lord who lives and reigns with you and the holy spirit, one god now and forever amen. >> a reading from the prophet
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isaiah. arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the lord has risen upon you. for darkness shall cover the earth and a thick darkness the people's, but the lord will arise upon you and his glory will appear over you. nations shall come to your light and kings to the brightness of your dawn. lift up your eyes and look around. they all gather together. they come to you, your sons shall come from far away, and your daughters shall be carried on their nurse's arms. then you shall see and be radiant. your heart shall thrill and rejoice because the abundance of the sea shall be brought to you and the wealth of the nations shall come to you.
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>> violence shall no more be heard in your land. devastation or destruction within your borders. you shall call your walls salvation and your gates praise. the sun shall no longer be your light by day, nor for brightness shall the moon give light to you by night, but the lord will be your ever lasting light, and your god will be your glory. your son shall no more go down or your moon withdraw itself for the lord will be your ever lasting light, and your days of mourning shall be ended. the word of the lord. >> thanks be to god.
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>> the story was almost over even before it had fully begun.
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shortly after dawn on saturday, september 2nd, 1944, lieutenant junior gray george herbert walker bush joined by two crew mates took off from the u.s.s. san jacinto to attack a radio tower. as they approached the target, the air was heavy with flak. the plane was hit, smoke filled the cockpit, flames raced across the wings. my god lieutenant bush thought. this thing's going to go down. yet, he kept the plane in its 35 degree dive, dropped his bombs, and then roared off out to sea telling his crew mates to hit the silk. following protocol, lieutenant bush turned the plane so they could bail out. only then did bush parachute
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from the cockpit. the wind propelled him backward and he gashed his head on the tale of the plane as he flew through the sky. he plunged deep into the ocean, bobbed to the surface, and flopped onto a tiny raft, his head bleeding, his eyes burning, his mouth and throat raw from salt water. the future 41st president of the united states was alone. sensing that his men had not made it, he was overcome. he felt the weight of responsibility as a nearly physical burden, and he wept. then at four minutes shy of noon, a submarine emerged to rescue the downed pilot. george herbert walker bush was
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safe. the story, his story and ours, would go on by god's grace. through the ensuing decades president bush would frequently ask nearly daily, he'd ask himself why me? why was i spared? and in a sense the rest of his life was a perennial effort to prove himself worthy of his salvation on that distant morning. to him his life was no longer his own. there were always more missions to undertake, more lives to touch, and more love to give. and what a headlong race he made
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of it all. he never slowed down. on the primary campaign trail in new hampshire once, he grabbed the hand of a department store mannequin asking for votes. when he realized his mistake, he said never know, got to ask. you can hear the voice, can't you? as dana carvey said, the key to a bush 41 impersonation is mr. rogers trying to be john wayne. george herbert walker bush was america's last great soldier statesman, a 20th century founding father. he governed with virtues that most closely resemble those of washington and of adams, of t.r.
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and of f.d.r., of truman and of eisenhower, of men who believed in causes larger than themselves. 6'2" handsome, dominant in person. president bush spoke with those big strong hands, making fists to underscore points. a master of what franklin roosevelt called the science of human relationships. he believed that to whom much was given, much is expected, and because life gave him so much, he gave back again and again and again. he stood in the breach in the cold war against totalitarianism, he stood in the breach in washington against unthinking partisanship. he stood in the breach against
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tierney and discrimination, and on his watch, a wall fell in berlin. a doors across america opened to those with disabiliti disabilities, and in his personal life he stood in the breach against heartbreak and hurt, always offering an outstretched hand, a warm word, a sympathetic tear. if you were down, he would rush to lift you up, and if you were soaring, he would rush to savor your success. strong and gracious, comforting and charming, loving and loyal, he was our shield in danger's hour.
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now, of course, there was ambition, too, loads of that. to serve, he had to succeed. to preside, he had to prevail. politics he once admitted isn't a pure undertaking, not if you want to win it's not. an imperfect man, he left us a more perfect union. it must be said that for a keenly intelligent statesman of stirring almost unparalleled private eloquence, public speaking was not exactly a strong suit. fluency in english president bush once remarked is something that i'm often not accused of. looking ahead to the '88 election, he observed inarguably
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it's no exaggeration to say that the undecideds could go one way or the other, and late in his presidency he allowed that we're enjoying sluggish times, but we're not enjoying them very much. his tongue may have run amuck at moments, but his heart was steadfast. his life code, as he said, was tell the truth. don't blame people. be strong. do your best. try hard. forgive, stay the course. and that was and is the most american of creeds. abraham lincoln's better angels of our nature and george h.w. bush's thousand points of light
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are companion verses in america's national hymn. for lincoln and bush both called on us to choose the right over the convenient, to hope rather than to fear, and to heed not our worst impulses but our instincts. this this work, he had the most wonderful of allies in barbara pierce bush, his wife of 73 years. he called her barb, the silver fox, and when the situation warranted, the enforcer. he was the only boy she ever kissed. her children, mrs. bush liked to say, always wanted to throw up when they heard that. in a letter to barbara during the war, young george h.w. bush had written i love you precious
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with all my heart, and to know that you love me means my life. how lucky our children will be to have a mother like you. and as they will tell you, they surely were. as vice president, bush once visited a children's leukemia ward in krakow. 35 years before he and barbara had lost a daughter robin to the disease. in krakow, a small boy wanted to greet the american vice president, learning that the child was sick with the cancer that had taken robin, bush began to cry. to his diary later that day, the vice president said this, my eyes flooded with tears, and behind me was a bank of television cameras, and i
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thought i can't turn around. i can't dissolve because of personal tragedy in the face of the nurses that give of themselves every day, so i stood there looking at this little guy, tears running down my cheek hoping he wouldn't see, but if he did, hoping he'd feel that i loved him. that was the real george h.w. bush, a loving man with a big vibrant, all-enveloping heart. and so we ask as we commend his soul to god and as he did why h him? why was he spared? the workings of providence are
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stee mysterious, but this much is clear. the george herbert walker bush who survived that fiery fall into the waters of the pacific three quarters of a century ago made our lives and the lives of nations freer, better, warmer, and nobler. that was his mission. that was his heartbeat, and if we listen closely enough, we can hear that heartbeat even now for it's the heartbeat of a lion, a lion who not only led us but who loved us. that's why him. that's why he was spared.
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a reading from revelations st. john. then i saw a new heaven and a new earth for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more, and i saw the holy city, the new jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from god prepared as a pri bride adorned for her husband, and i heard a loud voice from the throne saying, see, the home of god is among mortals. he will dwell with them. they will be his peoples, and god himself will be with them. he will wipe every tear from
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their eyes. death will be no more. mourning and crying and pain will be no more, for the first things have passed away. then he said to me, it is done. i am the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end. to the thirsty, i will give water as a gift from the spring of the water of life. those who conquer will inherit these things, and i will be their god, and they will be my children, and the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it for the glory of god is its light, and the lamp is the lamb. the nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the
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earth will bring their glory into it. its gates will never be shut by day, and there will be no night there. the word of the lord. >> thanks be to god.
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>> do you remember where you were the summer you left your teenage years behind and turned 20? well, i was working as a laborer in my hometown in north quebec trying to make enough money to get back into law school. it was a tough job, but i was safe and secure and had the added benefit of my mother's home cooking every night. on september 2nd, 1944, as we have just heard so eloquently from john, 20-year-old lieutenant george bush was preparing to attack japanese war installations in the pacific. he was part of a courageous generation of young americans who led the charge against overwhelming odds in the historic and bloody battle for supremacy in the pacific against
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the kol locolassal military mig japan. that's what george bush did, the summer he turned 20. many men of differing talents and sum many mer summer he turned 20. many men have served as president and many more will do is as the decades unfold and bringing new strength and glory to these united states of america, and 50 or 100 years from now, as historians review the accomplishments and the context of all who have served as president, i believe it will be be said that in the life of this country, the united states, which is in my judgment the greatest democratic republic that god has ever placed on the face of this earth. i believe it will be said that no occupant of the oval offices was more courageous, more
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principled and more honorable than george herbert walker bush. he was a man of high accomplishment, but also had a delightful sense of humor and a lot of fun. at his first nato meeting in brussels, as the new american preside president, he sat opposite me actually that day, and george was taking copious notes as the heads of governments spoke. we were all limited in time. but, you know, it is very flattering to have the president of the the united states make notes as you speak. even someone as modest as me. threw in a few more adjectives here or there to the pleasure of the experience and after the
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preside president had spoken and the prime minister thatcher had spoken and then it was the time for the president of iceland. and as he wrote went on and on and on, ending only when the secretary-general of nato firmly decreed a coffee break. george put down the pen and walked over to me and he said, brian, i have just learned the fundamental principle of international affairs. i said, what is that, george? i have learned that the small ter country the longersmaller the country the longer the speech. in the second year of the bush presidency, responding from implacable pressures of the reagan and bush administrations
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t the soviet union imploded. this was in my judgment the most epic event of the 20th century. an ominous situation that could have been extremely menacing to world security was instead deathly chald by the leadership of president bush into the broad and powerful currents of freedom and providing the people with an opportunity to the build an embryonic country that had been ruled bizarres and t s -- by cz t tyrants for years. as calls for freedoms has cascaded over europe leaving dictators and dogma in the trashcan of history, no challenge, no challenge assumed greater importance for western solidarity than the unification of germany with an unswerving
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nato. the old fears of western europe and the unrelenting hostility of the military establishment of the soviett u union and the war pact initiated this process and with one misstep, this whole compromise could have been irretrievable there. was no competent or vital situation than chancellor helmut kohl of germany. in a speech to a parliamentary procedure, chancellor kohl said that this historic german are reunification could have never ever succeeded without the brilliant leadership of
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president bush. much has been written about the first gulf war. simply put, the coalition of 29 disparate nations assembled under the ages, the united nations, including for the first time many influential countries who led by the united states in that spectacular international are relationship ever undertaken throughout history. to ensure the vision that were designed to punish the aggressor and ensure order in a region that had seen too much of the opposition for far too long.
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this was president bush's inn h initiative from beginning to end. president bush was also responsible for the north american free trade agreement, recently modernize and improved by new administrations which created the largest and the richest free trade a area in the history of the world, while also signing into law the americans with disabilities act. is which transformed the lives of many, and also the climate change initiatives to enjoy the air you breathe and the streams you drink and the forests you cherish. and this is coming from one thing, leadership. leadership. and now let me tell you that when george bush was president of the united states of america,
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ev every single leader knew they were dealing with a gentleman, a leader who was distinguished, resolute and honored. i don't keep a diarre -- i don' keep a diary, but occasionally i write private notes after important personal or profession al events. one occurred at walkers point in kenny bebunkport, maine, on september 2nd, 2001. mia and i had been spending our traditional labor day weekend with george and barbara. at the end, george and i had a
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privatep conversation, and my no notes capture the moment. i told george how i thought that his mood had shifted over the last eight years, from a series is of frustrations and moments of despondency in 1993 to the high enthusiasm that i felt at the houston launch of the presidential library, and george w.'s election as governor in november of that year to the delight following jeb's election in 1998, followed by their great pride and pleasure with george w.'s election to the presidency. and perhaps most importantly, to the serenity that we with found today in both barbara and george. they are truly at peace with themselves. joyous in what they and the children have achieved, gratified by the good neness th
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god has bestowed upon them all and genuinely content with the thrill and promise of each passing day. p and at that, george had tears in his eyes as i spoke said, you know, brian, you have got us pegged just right. and the roller coaster of emotions we have experienced since 1992. come with me. he led me down the porch at walkers point to the side of the house that fronts the ocean and pointed to a small simple plaque that had been unobtrusively installed some days earlier. it read "cavu." george said, brian, this stands
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for ceiling and visibility unlimited. when i was terrified 18 to 19-year-old pilot in the pacific, those, those were the words that we hoped to hear before take off. it meant perfect flying. and that is the way i feel about our life today. cavu. everything is perfect. bar and i could not have asked for better lives. we are truly happy and truly at peace. as i looked over to the waters of walkers point on that cold and september afternoon in maine, i was reminded of the line simple and true that speak to the real nature of george bush and his love of his wonderful family and precious surrou surroundings. there are


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