tv President George H.W. Bush Capitol Rotunda Ceremony CSPAN December 3, 2018 6:57pm-7:31pm EST
>> the body of george h.w. bush arriving at the capitol lying in state until once morning at 10:00. a funeral a state funeral planned for washington national cathedral wednesday. at this hour they are readying the rotunda for the public viewing which is set to start around 7:30 eastern. the most recent official to lie in state was john mccain at the end of august. you see the flag at half-staff at the capitol hill and across the country and will be through the end of december. we will come back live to the rotunda once the cameras are back on and they are ready to open it for the public. that will be live and stay live.
while we wait for that we are going to bring you the memorial service from the rotunda this afternoon which got under way around 5:00 eastern. is >> we give you thanks all mighty god for the answer among us of great men and women who served as inspirations 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 publish service as a vocation, first in the military, then as a member of congress, a diplomat, director of the c.i.a., 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 know dnoblesse oblige and ask that his service will be for all americans. as we continue this celebration of honor, grant that all who attend through 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 capitol, george herbert walker bush addressed the nation for the first time as our president. he said we meet on democracy's front porch, a good place to
talk as neighbors. and as friends. the words of a humble servant who loved his fellow citizens and a principled leader who knew america guards its own future but safe guards democracy for the world. today this hero has returned to the capitol a final time, not on the front porch of our democracy this time, but here in its hallowed cathedral. beneath paintings that tell the story of our land and our liberty and flagged by statues of his fellow champions who he joined in making that story possible. george bush was just teenager when he volunteered for military service and became the navy's youngest aviator.
he was only 20 on that september day in 1944 when his plane was hit on a bombing run. but through the fire and smoke george w. bush stayed steady at the controls. only once he accomplished his mission did he parachute out over the pacific, a steady hand staying the course. that is what george bush gave us for decades. decorated aviator, congressman, ambassador to the united nations, envoy to china, c.i.a. director, eight years as vice president and our commander in chief. through the cold war and soviet union collapse he kept us on course course. when the rule of law needed defending in the persian gulf, he kept us on course.
with his on temperament and hard work work, hard won expertise, george herbert walker bush 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 one 10th 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 prize prized most of all. a great love story again at that christmas dance when george w. bush met barbara pierce and the 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 general, neil, marvin and all the bush grant children and great grandchildren. we stand with you in mourn inging but also in congratulate -- gratitude 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 grace.
>> 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 was the first one i was ever involved in. we had enough listen at the ballgames and 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 it teach me and many of us that in a democracy styles you fall short -- sometimes you fall short and how you handle that 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. grace is but glory begun, and glory is but grace perfected. glory is transcendent in the
life of our republican. this rotunda is a trumpet call to glory. tributes to the giants all the way up into the skaoeuy. 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 president bush personified grace. his character was second to none. he reached the heights of power with uncommon humility. he made monumental contributions with freedom with a fundamental decency that resonates across
generations. no one better harm machineized the -- handle mondayized -- harmonized the joy and duty of life. there is that image of him as commander in chief during the gulf war waving to a sea of troops during a visit during thanksgiving. there are all of these images of him as a devoted husband, that twinkle in his eye that barbara always brought out especially in the huge photos you had in kennebunkport. this was i will never forget. there was an image of him as a loving father reaching out to hold his son's hand at the national cathedral after 9/11. there is this letter he wrote his children on the last day of 1990 as he wrestled with the
decision over operation desert storm. he begins by recounting the family christmas and apologized if he seemed distracted. i tried not to be he writes. then for about a page he laboratories -- will be rates on his struggle -- elaborates on his struggle in sending young americans in harm's way. twice in the letter he writes every human life is precious. the original copy he has 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 human kind. a great leader and a good man. a gentle soul of firm resolve.
>> speaker ryan, leader mcconnell, leader schumer leader pelosi, members of congress distinguished guest zs, but most of all, president george w. bush, governor jeb bush neil, marvin, doral and the entire bush family. it is deeply humble inging to stand before you today at the beginning of a week in our nation nation's capital where 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 mourn with those who mourn and grieve with those who grieve. and today, on behalf of the
first family and my family and the american people, we offer our deepest sympathy and respects to your family. we thank you for sharing this special man with our nation and the world. today president bush becomes the 32nd american to lie in state in the united states capitol rotunda. soon americans from every corn of the country -- corner of the country and every walk of legislative life will make them here. king david said do you not rolls a commander and great man has fallen in israel this day. george herbert walker bush was such a man. while he was known as the quiet
man man, it was not for lack of nerve or daring for in all of his 94 years he never lost his love adventure and he 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 we he was still in high school. after the japanese attacked pearl harbor in december of 1941 he enlisted it the united states navy on his 18th birthday. on receiving his wings he became the youngest naval aviator and was sent to the south pacific where his story almost ended. isn't 1944 on a bombing raid his aircraft was hit, his engine caught fire but he managed to hit his target before bailing out and being rescued.
he flew 58 combat missions. for his bus driverryr bravery he earned the distinguished flying cross. he was just getting started. after he came home he staked his claim it booming post-war america by making a name for himself in the oil business. four years he walked these halls as a congressman from houston. president nixon asked him to be our ambassador to the united nations and led our party during tumultuous time and he did the work of a diplomat as the first united states envoy to china and led the c.i.a. then then, for eight years george herbert walker bush served as the 43rd vice president of the united states. i'm told as he was preparing to
become vice president he joked about the job saying he was, joke, nothing substantive to do at all. but if history records, during those years he set the standard as a sound counselor and loyal advisor to an outsider who came to washington to shake things up, cut taxes, rebuild the military military. then he made history again when george herbert walker bush was elected in a landslides
president. becoming the first sitting vice president to be the president. under his leadership america won the cold war. he took our nation to war to repel aggression in the persian gulf and through his leadership and brilliance of our armed forces the united states won a decisive victory. when he left office he left america and the world for peaceful prosperous and secure. president bush was great leader who made a great difference in the life of this nation. but he was also just a good man. who is 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 phapbman 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 he never wrote an autobiography. but he did leave a record of his life in the thousands of letters that he wrote. i'm told that he started writing letters to his parents when he was 18 years old and over time his circle of correspondence grew to include family friends advisors, staff, business associates former presidents
and just about anyone who would take the trouble to write to him. after a lifetime of writing letters 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 tailhook landing on the u.s.s. 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 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. we were told by the staff the president had long since ended
practice of signing autographs and we understood that. but little to my surprise, just in time for my son's winging there came not only a signed photograph but, of course a letter letter, hand signed as well. august 2018. in it letter president bush wrote to my son in his words congratulations on receiver your wings of gold. i know how proud you and your family at this moment. then in words that assured us that the letter came directly to him he wrote quote though we have not met i share the pride your father has for you during this momentous occasion and i wish you many c-a-v-u days ahead all the best, g bush.
i would come to learn that that being a rowacronym acronym, cavu is a term navy pilots have used since world war ii. it stands for feeling in invisibility unlimited. president bush described it in his words as the kind of weather we navy pilots wanted when we were to fly off our carrier in the pacific, and he once wrote a letter to his children saying that cavu in his words describes my own life as it has been over the years and as it is right now. feeling in visibilityvisibility unlimited. that may well describe the essence of this man. and it may well have been his vision
vision, the vision he had for his live, for his children, his children as children and his country country. no barriers, no boundaries, no limits. so, we mourn with those who mourn and grieve with those who grieve. but we do not grieve like those who have no hope. for president george herbert walker bush had that hope. his favorite sustained him throughout his life of service, and we pray that that favorite 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 life time of service will been slain pbenshrined in the