tv President George H.W. Bush Capitol Rotunda Ceremony CSPAN December 3, 2018 4:24pm-6:34pm EST
course. the greatest generation indeed. the grand heroism that saved our nation. the quiet diligence that built it up, and the basic goodness that sustains it, all in one. today the united states senate joins the nation and the bush family in mourning and in prayer. we are also joined in gratitude. we're thankful that god gave this country george bush and barbara. thankful that they built such a loving family. and thankful they may now be reuniteed, their great love >> we will take you live to capitol hill.ke you live to
>> we give you thanks, almighty god, for the appearance among us of great men and women who serve as inspiration for all americans to be their best in service to god, country, and neighbor. this day, we honor our 41st president, george h.w. bush. president bush dedicated his entire life to public service as a vocation, first in the military, then as a member of , directora diplomat of the cia, vice president, and finally president. it is a record of service reminiscent of john quincy adams and unmatched in nearly a century.
we thank you, oh god, for having endowed president bush with ige and asked that his example of service to others maybe an example to all americans, indeed to all the world. as we continue the celebration of honor, grant that all who attend to these proceedings might be desirous of being our best selves in service to all our brothers and sisters, as you might call us to be. dear lord, thank you for inspiring such greatness in president george h.w. bush and continue to bless the united states of america. amen.
30 years ago on the west front of this capital, george herbert walker bush addressed the nation for the first time as our president. democracy'smeet on front porch, a good place to talk as neighbors and as friends. servants of a humble who loved his fellow citizens and of a principled leader who knew america not only guards our own future, but also safeguards democracy for the world. today this hero has returned to the a final time, not on --
returned to the capital a final time, not on the front porch of our democracy this time, but here in its hallowed cathedral. many paintings that tell the story of our land and our liberty and flanked by statues of his fellow champions, whom he joins in making this story copie possible. george bush was just a teenager when he volunteered for military service and became the navy's youngest aviator. he was only 20 on that day in 1944 when his plane was hit on a bombing run. but through the fire and smoke, george bush stayed steady at the controls. only once he accomplished his mission did he parachute out handthe pacific, a steady
staying the course. that's what george bush gave us for decades. congressman,ator, ambassador to the united nations , envoy to china, cia director, eight years as vice president, and our commander-in-chief. through the cold war and the soviet union's collapse, he cap us onn course -- he kept course. when the rule of law needed defending in the persian gulf, he kept us on course. with his even temperament and hard-won expertise, george herbert walker steered this country as straight as he steered that airplane. he kept us flying high and challenged us to fly higher still, and he did it with modesty and kindness that would
have been surprising in someone 1/10 as tough and accomplished as he was. the patriot who lies before us was blessed with many gifts, but there was no doubt which he prized most of all. a great love story began at that christmas dance when george bush , and thera pierce grace and virtue they taught their children have enriched this nation through a family of leaders. today the nation stands with that family, with our 43rd president, with jeb, neil, marvin, and all the bush grandchildren and great-grandchildren. we stand with you in mourning, but also in gratitude. gratitude for lives well lived
and duties thoroughly fulfilled. gratitude that god gave this country george and barbara bush and that they may now be reunited in the light of his .race >> as americans, we have no more solemn duty than laying a great patriot to rest. here lies a great man. to the bush family, on behalf of the whole house, republicans and
democrats, we are profoundly sorry for your loss and we are honored to celebrate this wonderful life with you. like so many, i feel a personal debt of gratitude today, a sentiment no doubt countless millions of americans are feeling at this moment. the 1988 campaign, that was the first one i was ever involved in. we handed out literature at ballgames and the 4-h fair. i remember going to this big rally at miami of ohio the day after the first debate. the whole experience really drew me into politics. he was the first president i had the chance to vote for, and he was the first president to teach me and many of us that in a democracy, sometimes you fall
and that how you handle that is just as important as how you win. an old preacher once said, grace is but glory begun and glory is but grace perfected. begun andut glory glory is but grace perfected. in thes transcendent life of our republic. this rotunda is a trumpet call to glory. tributes to the giants all the way up into the sky. grace -- grace is different. it is more elemental. it is not larger than life, it is the stuff of life.
the connective tissue in a free society. it deepens the well of our common humanity. throughout his life of service, president bush personified grace. , his character was second to none. he reached the heights of power with uncommon humility. he made monumental contributions to freedom with a fundamental decency that resonates across generations. harmonized the joy of life and the duty of life. ofre is that indelible image him as commander-in-chief during the gulf war, raving to a sea of troops during -- waving to a sea of troops during a visit during
thanksgiving. there are all these images we have of him as a devoted husband , a twinkle in his eye that barbara always brought out, especially in those huge family photos you had in kennebunkport. this one i will never forget. there was that image of him as a loving father, reaching out to hold his sons and at the national cathedral -- his son's hand at the national cathedral after 9/11. there is a letter he wrote his children on the last day of 1990 as he wrestled with a decision over operation desert storm. he begins by recounting the family christmas, and he apologized if he seemed distracted. "i tried not to be a," he writes. then for about a page, he elaborates on his struggle over sending young americans into harm's way. twice in the letter, he writes,
precious."n life is in the original copy, he adds by hand a note wishing his family a new year. in consequential times, george herbert walker bush demonstrated the finest qualities of our nation and of humankind. a great leader and a good man. resolve.soul of firm live isd us that how we as important as what we achieve. honor.e was a hymn of his legacy is grace perfected. his memory will belong to glory.
it is deeply humbling to stand before you today at the beginning of a week in our nations capital -- nation's capital when we will commemorate and celebrate the lifetime of service and leadership of the 41st president of the united states, president george herbert walker bush. the bible tells us to more and with -- to mourn with those who wourn and to grieve with those who grieve. tonight on behalf first family and my family and the american people, we offer our deepest sympathies and respect to your family, and we thank you for sharing this special man with our nation and the world. today president bush comes the 32nd american to lie in state in
the united states capitol rotunda. soon, americans from every corner of the country and every walk of life will make their way to this rotunda to pay the respects of a grateful nation. on the death of abner, it is written that king david said, do you not realize that a commander and a great man has fallen in israel this day? george herbert walker bush was such a man. while he was known as a quiet man, it was not for lack of , for in all of his 94 years, president bush never lost his love of adventure and never failed to answer the call to serve his country. born into a tradition of public service, george herbert walker bush began his own life of service when he was still in high school.
after the japanese attacked pearl harbor in december of 1941, he wanted to do his part, so he enlisted in the united states navy on his 18th birthday. on receiving his wings, he became the nation's youngest naval aviator and was sent to the south pacific, where his story almost ended. september 1944 on a bombing raid, his aircraft was hit. his engine caught fire, but he still managed to hit his target before bailing out and being rescued by american forces, after some four hours at sea. all told, he flew 58 combat missions, and for his bravery under fire he earned the distinguished combat cross, which would have been enough honor for any american life. george herbert walker bush was just getting started. after he came home, he staked his claim to a booming postwar america by making a name for himself in the oil business. for four years, he walked these
halls as a congressman from houston. president nixon took notice of the young texan and asked him to be our ambassador to the united nations. he led our party during a tumultuous time for the presidency and after earning the respect of another president, he did the work of a diplomat as the first united states envoy to china, and let the cia. and then for eight years, george herbert walker bush served as the 43rd vice president of the united states. i am told as he was preparing to become vice president, he once joked about the job, saying there was "nothing substantive to do at all." [laughter] vp pence: but as history records, during those years, he set the standard as a sound counselor and loyal advisor to
an outsider who came to washington, d.c., to shake things up -- cut taxes, rebuild the military -- and together, they did just that. and then in 1988, he made , when george herbert walker bush was elected in a landslide as the 41st president of the united states of america, becoming the first sitting vice president to win the presidency in more than 150 years of our history. he served during an on certain time in the world, made momentous by his leadership. falldent bush oversaw the of the soviet union, the crumbling of the berlin wall, and under his leadership america won the cold war. totook our nation to war repel aggression in the persian gulf and through his leadership as commander-in-chief and the
brilliance of our armed forces, the united states won a decisive victory. when president george herbert walker bush left office, he left america and the world more peaceful, prosperous, and secure. president bush was a great leader who made a great difference in the life of this nation. manhe was also just a good who was devoted to his wife, his family, and his friends. i was lucky enough to meet him in 1988 when he was vice president and i was a 29-year-old just getting started in politics. then, as always, i was struck by his approachability. there was a kindness about the man that was evident to everyone who ever met him.
all his years in public service were characterized by kindness, modesty, and patriotism. he was so modest, in fact, that he never wrote an autobiography. a record ofeave his life in the thousands of letters that he wrote. i am told he started writing letters to his parents when he was 18 years old, and over time his circle of correspondents grew to include family, friends, advisers, staff, business associates, former presidents, and just about anyone who would take the trouble to write to him. after a lifetime of writing letters, my son got one just not too long ago. as i told two of his sons this weekend, when our son made his first tail hoop landing as a
marine aviator on the uss george herbert walker bush, i took the liberty of writing the ship's namesake to ask for a small favor. i didn't write him as a vice president to a former president, i just wrote as a proud dad of a marine aviator to a former navy pilot. i asked him to sign a picture of the flight deck that i could give to my son. now, we were told by the staff that the president had long since ended the practice of signing autographs, and we understood that. but little to my surprise, just winging,or my son's there came not only a signed photograph, but of course, a letter, hand signed as well. 2018.,
in that letter, president bush wrote to my son, "congratulations on receiving your wings of gold. i know how proud you and your family are at this moment." and then in words that assured us the letter came directly from him, he wrote, "though we have not met, i share the bride your father has -- i share the pride your father has for you and i days ahead.y cavu ." bush.e best, g. i would come to learn that acronym, cavu, is a term navy pilots have used since world war ii. it stands for feeling in visibility unlimited. assident bush described cavu the kind of whether the navy
pilots wanted when we were to fire off our carrier in the pacific. that cavu in a children saying "describes my own life as it has it over the years and ,s it is right now -- ceiling invisibility -- and visibility unlimited." that may describe this man and it may have been his vision, the vision he had for his life, for his children, his children's children, and his country. no barriers, no boundaries, no limits. those who mourn and grieve with of those who grieve, but we do not grieve like those who have no hope, for
president george herbert walker bush had that hope. his faith sustained him throughout his life of service 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. 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. may god bless the memory of george herbert walker bush. and god comfort his family and friends. and may god continue to bless the united states of america.
herbert walker bush. lord, we are grateful for the privilege you gave us to learn integrity,om his courage, heroism, excellence, service, intellect, humility, civility, and spirituality. --we celebrate this will ohll lived life, challenge us god, to also leave the world better than we found it. continue to cover those who mourn. touch each member of the bush family with your mercy, love and grace. the day support us all
>> a view of the east front of capital president george herbert walker bush highwaying in state until wednesday morning 10:00 a.m. eastern. right now they are preparing the viewing whichblic is set to get under way in just under an hour. reopen the rotunda for television coverage we will have c-span andge here on we wl