tv President George H.W. Bush - Washington Funeral CSPAN December 6, 2018 1:04am-4:24am EST
in a public viewing in houston, going all night. there is a funeral service at saint martin's at 11 a.m. eastern, followed by the burial ceremony at the george bush presidential library into museum. we are remembering president bush throughout the day. this is a national day of mour ning. the former was taken from the to his statepitol funeral. all former presidents attended the service. his son, george w. bush, gave the eulogy. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2018]
receive our brother george. let us pray with confidence to god, the giver of life that he will bring him in the company of saints. servant lord christ from all evil and set him free from every bond that he may rest with all your saints in the eternal habitation where with the father and holy spirit you live in rain one god forever and ever. amen. let us pray also for all who mourn that they may cast their care on god. the sorrow of your servants for whom we pray
know my redeemer lives and he will stand upon the earth after my a waking and will raise me up and in my body i shall see god. and my eyesll see behold him. my friend and not a stranger. himself andive unto becomes his own master when he dies. if we have life, we are alive in the lord. if we die, we die in the lord. whether we live or die we are the lord's possession. from now on all those who die in the lord. so it says for they rest from their labors.
pon you and his glory will appear over you. lights suck him to your and kings to the brightness of your dog. lift up your eyes and look around. away and your daughters shall be carried on their nurses arms. you shall see and be radiant. your heart shall thrill and rejoice. the abundance of the sea shall be brought to you and the wealth of the nations shall come to you.
violence shall no longer be heard in your land. destruction within your borders. you shall call your walls salvation and your gates praise. the sun shall not be your light by the day nor the brightness shall the moon give light to you by night. but the lord will be your everlasting light and your god will be your glory. downsun shall no longer go or your moon with joy itself for the lord will be your everlasting light and your day of mourning shall be ended. the word of the lord.
september 2, 1944 lieutenant george herbert walker bush joined by two crewmates took off attack a radio tower. as they approached the target the air was heavy with flat. cockpit, flames raced across the wings. thought,ieutenant bush this will go down. he kept the plane and its dive, dropped his bombs and roared out to sea. telling his crewmates. lieutenant bush turned the plane so they could bailout. only then did he parachute from the cockpit.
backwardpropelled him anti-gashed his head on the tail -- and he gashed his head on the tail of the plane. he crashed into the ocean, and flopped onto a tiny raft. his head bleeding, his eyes burning, his mouth and throat raw from saltwater. the future 41st president of the united states was alone. itsing his men had not made he was overcome. he felt the weight of responsibility as a nearly physical burden. he wept. at four minutes shy of noon, a submarine emerged to rescue the downed pilot. george herbert walker bush was safe.
story, his story and hours, would go on -- ours would go one by god's grace. president bush would frequently ask nearly daily, ask himself why me? why was i spared? lifesense the rest of his was a perennial effort to prove himself worthy of his salvation on that morning. longerhis life was no his own. there were always more missions to undertake, more lives to touch, and more love to give. race he made of it all. he never slow down.
on the primary campaign trail he of a man asking for votes. -- manikin asking for votes. he said, never know, got asked -- gotta ask. you can hear the voice. key is carvey said, the mr. rogers trying to be john wayne. [laughter] wasge herbert walker bush america's last great shoulder best soldier statesman. a 21st century founding father. virtues thatith most closely resembled those of andfdr andand adams
truman and eisenhower. causes believed in larger than themselves. inches, handsome, dominant in person. he made fists to underscore points. a master of what franklin roosevelt called the science of human relationships he believed to whom much is given, much is expected. because life gave him so much, he gave back again and again. he stood in the breach and the cold war against authoritarianism, and the breach against unthinking partisanship, the breach against tyranny and discrimination. on his watch a wall fell in berlin.
a dictator did not stand. doors across america opened to those with disabilities. life, he stood in the breach against heart break and hurt. always offering an outstretched hand, warm words, sympathetic tear. if you were down he would rush to lift you up. if you were soaring he would rush to savor your success. gracious, comforting and charming, loving and loyal, he was our shield endangers our. -- in dangers hour.
there was ambition too. to serve he had to succeed. he had to prevail. politics, he once admitted was a pure undertaking, not if you want to win it does not. an imperfect man he left us a more perfect union. said for a keenly intelligent statesman of stirring, almost unparalleled private elegance, public speaking was not exactly a strong suit. fluency in english he wants remarked is something i am often not accuse of. [laughter] looking ahead to the 1988 it wasn he and arguably no exaggeration to say it
decided to go one way or the other. [laughter] hee in his presidency allowed that, we are enjoying sluggish times but not enjoying them very much. [laughter] amok atue may have run moments. but his heart was steadfast. said, wasode as he tell the truth, do not blame people. be strong, do your best, try hard, forgive, stay the course. is the most american of creeds. and george h.w. lighthousands points of our companion versus in
america's national him -- hymn. both called on us to choose the right over the convenient, the hope rather than the fear, and he'd not are worse impulses but our best instinct. in his work, he had the most allies and barbara,and his wife of 72 years -- 73 years. he called her barb, and when it called for it, the enforcer. he was the only boy she ever case. -- kissed. always wanted to throw up when they heard that. [laughter] in a letter to barbara and the said iung george w. bush love you with all my heart and
to know you love me means my life. how lucky our children will be to have a mother like you. as they will tell you, they surely were. president, bush once visited a children's leukemia ward. 35 years before he and barbara had lost a daughter, robin to the disease. in krakow, a young boy wanted to meet the american vice president. sick,ng the child was bush began to cry. to his diary, later that day, the vice president said this: my eyes flooded with tears and behind me were television cameras, i thought i cannot turn
around, i cannot dissolve because of personal tragedy in the face of nurses that give of themselves every day. so i stood there looking at this little guy, tears running down my cheek, hoping he would not see, but if he did hoping he would feel that i loved him. that was the real george w. bush . big,ing man with a vibrant, all enveloping hearts. so we asked as we commit his did, whyod, and as he him, why was he spared? the workings of providence are mysterious. this is clear, george herbert
walker bush who survived that made fall into the pacific our lives and the lives of warmer,freer, better, and nobler. that was his mission, that was his heartbeat. enough, wen closely can hear that heartbeat even now. lion, is a heartbeat of a a lion who not only led us, but who loved us. that is why him. that is why he was spared.
>> a reading from revelation of st. john. i saw a new heaven and a new earth for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. the sea was no more. i saw the holy city, the new jerusalem coming down out of heaven from god. adorned fora bride her husband. voice from a loud the throne saying see, the home of god he will dwell with them, they will be his people and god himself will be with them. he will wipe every tear from their eyes, death will be no
crying anding and pain will be no more. the first things have passed me, it is he said to done. i am the alpha and omega, the beginning and the end. water thirsty i will give and the guests from the spring of the water of life. those who conquer or inherit these things. i will be their god and they will be my children. need of sun or moon to shine on it for the glory of god is this light and the lamp is the lamb. the nations will walk by its light and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it.
were the summer you left your teenage years behind and turned 20? i was working as a laborer in my hometown. 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 benefit of my mother's home cooking every night. 1944 as we have just heard so eloquently from john, 20-year-old lieutenant george bush was preparing to attack japanese in the pacific. he was part of a courageous generation of young americans who led the charge against overwhelming odds and the historic battle of supremacy in the pacific against the colossal military might of imperial
japan. did thewhat george bush summer he turned 20. many men of different talents and skills have served as president and many more will do so as a decades unfold. bringing strength and glory to these united states of america. now asundred years some historians review the accomplishments and context of all who have served as president, i believe it will be said that the life of this country, the united states which is in my judgment, the greatest democratic republic may god has ever placed on the face of this earth. i believe it will be said that no occupant of the oval office was more courageous, more principled, and more honorable
than george herbert walker bush. man of highwas a accomplishment. he had a delightful sense of humor. he was a lot of fun. at his first nato meeting in brussels, as the new american mesident, he sat opposite that day. notes was taking copious as the heads of governments spoke. it is flattering to have the president of united states take notes. even someone as modest as me. [laughter] adjectives here and there. [laughter] after the prime minister, chancellor has spoken.
turn of the prime minister of iceland. who as president bush continued onwrite, went on and on and and on. ending on the when the secretary-general of nato decreed a coffee break. george put down his pen, walked over to me and said brian, i have learned the fundamental principle of international affairs. i said what is that? he said the smaller the country, the longer the speech. [laughter] in the second year of the bush presidency, responding to of the reagan and bush administrations, the soviet union imploded. this was in my judgment, the
most ethical -- political event of the 21st century area -- century. challenged by the leadership president bush in the currents of freedom providing the russian people the opportunity to build a democracy in the country that have been ruled by czars and tyrants for over thousand years. as the berlin wall collapse soon thereafter, and calls for freedom cascaded across central and eastern europe, the eating dictators into the trashcan of history. no challenge assumed greater importance for weston solidarity than unification of germany within an unswerving nato. all fears in western europe,
unrelenting hostility in the soviet union and the warsaw pact among the most complex and sensitive ever undertaken. one serious misstep in this entire process could have been compromised perhaps irretrievable. obviously no more knowledge of what happened at this most vital juncture of the 21st century than the chancellor of germany. he said that this historic initiative of german reunification could never ever has exceeded without the brilliant gives ship a present -- leadership of president bush.
much has been written, simply put the coalition of 29 desperate nations assembled at the united nations and putting for the first time many influential arab countries led by the united states will rank with the most successful international incidents ever undertaken in modern history designed to punish an aggressor, defend the cause of freedom and ensure a region that had seen too much of the opposite for far too long. bush's fromsident beginning to end. president bush was also responsible for the north american free trade agreement. recently modernized and approved by new administrations. which created the largest free-trade area in the history of the world while also signing
into law the americans for disabilities act. which transformed the lives of millions and millions of americans forever. president bush's decision to go forward with strong environmental legislation including the clean air act resulted in the acid rain accord with canada is a splendid gift to future generations of americans and canadians to savor in the air they breathe and water they drink. the forest they enjoy and the lakes, rivers and streams they cherish. this, it isord for called leadership. leadership. let me tell you, when george bush was president of the united states of america every head of government in the world knew
they were dealing with the gentleman, a genuine leader one of the most distinguished, resolute and brave. , did not keep a diary occasionally i write private notes after important personal or professional events. on september 2, 2001 we had been spending at traditional labor day weekend with george and he and, towards the end i had a long, private conversation. my notes captured the moment. i told george how i thought his mood had shifted over the last eight years. frustrations of and moments of the sponsored see in 1993 to the high enthusiasm i felt at the houston launch of
the presidential library. george w's election as governor that year. to the delight following jeb's election in 1998. followed by georgew's presidency. and most important, the serenity we found today in both barbara and george. they are truly at peace with themselves. joyous and what their children have achieved. gratified by the goodness of god has been sold upon them all -- bestowed upon them all. promise of each passing day. george with tears in brian,s, said you know you have is paid jet -- pegged
just right. the roller coaster we have experiences 1992, come what may. he led me down the porch to the side of the house towards the ocean and pointed to a small simple plaque that have been installed some days earlier. "cavu". forge say, this stands ceiling and visibility unlimited. 18 or was a terrified 19-year-old pilot in the pacific, those were the words we , is to hear before takeoff meant perfect line. -- flying. that is the way i view our life
today. everything is perfect. barbara and i could not have asked for better lies. we are truly happy and truly at these. waters, ilooked over the that the nature of george bush was the love of his family in the presence of those around. .here are wooden ships there are sailing ships. there are ships that sale to see. but the best ships are friendships and may they always be.
>> george told me i only had 10 minutes. he was very direct about it. it wasn't even funny. [laughter] i first met my friend, my dear friend, george bush, in 1962, when my father, miller simpson, was a member of the united states senate, just elected. i came with what -- came to washington with dad to settle on his new office eating vacated by one senator prescott bush,
george's father. well, then we met again when my parents left washington and sold her home to a brand staking new congressman from texas named george herbert walker bush. so, george and barbara, mom and pop, did that sale on a handshake. sound familiar? i came to the senate in 1978 and reaganter that ronald cornered me and asked me to support him for president. i said that i would, not knowing that my friend george would enter the fray. hearing that i called and i said george, i want to tell you i would love to help, but i have already committed to ronald reagan. george's response? well, i'm sorry about that. i probably should have let you know sooner. and actually a guy doesn't get
very many calls were a friend who says they can't support him. sound familiar? of course it does. because in george bush's life, during all the highs and lows, there was a simple credo. what would we do without family and friends? vicehen he became president, our friendship, our enjoyable friendship was refreshed and the four of us had many, many pleasant times together. my life in washington was rather tumultuous. i went from the a social list to the v. [laughter] >> and never came back to the a. at one dark time i was feeling awful low and all of my wounds were self-inflicted. all of them. george called me early one morning, always early in the
morning -- [laughter] country music playing in the background. he says -- i see the media is shooting you preach full of holes. actually, he said it a bit more pungent lay than that. he said -- why don't we go up to camp david? come on over and we will have a weekend together. at that time his popularity rating was 93%. mine was .93. and so off we went. the media of course all gathered as we headed to marine one. and george said -- now, waved your pals over there in the media, al. [laughter] and they didn't wave back. [laughter] so, next morning he's rattling through all the papers and he looks up and he says -- years the one i've been looking for.
it's a picture of barbara, and, and george, with his arm and hand on my back. and later we are having a sauna. and i said -- george, i am not unmindful as to what you are doing. you are propping up your own ---year-old wounded duck pal while you are at the top of your game, you reach out to me while i'm tangled in rich controversy. tanking my lumps. he said -- yup. there were staff members that told me not to do this, but out all, this is about friendship and loyalty. sound familiar? of fun, too.ul lot always a delight to be in the president's box at the kennedy center. off to a play at the national theater with the bushes.
outside the box one evening there was a massive six foot face with an extraordinary glaze. i hope you know the difference between a vase and a vase. 35 bucks. [laughter] to it ande walks up he said -- al, wait, i think that's a trust can. he said it was a clay that could only have been found during that era. i said no, george. the patina gives me the perception that it was possibly older. perhaps of greek origin. with that particular herbal paste before firing. people gathered around mumbling about these expert observers. barbara and and finally came by and said -- get out of here.
both of you, get back in that box. [laughter] well, we did. [laughter] it was impressive for a while. michael one night crawford was singing the songs of andrew lloyd reverend. all four of us was singing as we went back to the white house. don't cry for me argentina ♪ and tidbits from phantom of the opera and other magic of weber. a few days later is getting hammered by the press for some extraordinarily petty bit of trivia. and suddenly he sings out -- ♪ don't cry for me argentina ♪ that he wast wrote then finally losing his marbles. now, these honored guests right here before us, who have held this noble post know all of the
slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. he was a class act. from birth to death. of mindhe strong sinews and body, gained from that extraordinary mother. we compared our mothers as velvet hammers, of course. and certainly most awesome fathers. the history books will and are treating him most fairly while uncovering some other powerful traits. his great competitiveness. his raw courage and self-discipline. basel the andrews air conclave where congressional participants drafted a remarkable bill that dealt with two-year budgeting, entitlement reform, comprehensive and catastrophic health care, social security solvency, and much
more. but it required the critical ingredient called revenue. taxes.ted into the word translated into the words -- read my lips. andgroup went to george said look, we can get the packet done but we must need some revenue. he said that what he had set on the subject put a lot of heat on him. they also guess, but we can get it done and it will be bipartisan. and george said -- ok, go for it, but it will be of -- will be a real punch in the gut. bob dole, then a real warrior for george, took it back to the senate and we won a strong bipartisan vote. he went to the house for his own party, where they turned on him.
surely one of the main factors ensuring his return to private life areas but he often said that when the really tough choices come it's the country, not me. it's not about democrats or republicans, it's for our country that i fought for. he was a man of such great humility that those who travel the high road of humility in washington, d.c., are not bothered by heavy traffic. [laughter] he had a very serious flaw, known by all close to him. he loved a good joke. the richer, the better. he would throw his head back and give that great laugh. but he never, ever could remember a punchline. and i mean never.
so, the punchline for george herbert washer -- herbert walker bush is this -- you would have wanted him on your side. he never lost his sense of humor . humor is the universal solvent against the abrasive elements of life. that's what humor is. he never hated anyone. he knew what his mother and my mother always knew, hatred corrodes the container it's carried in. the most decent and honorable person i ever met was my friend george bush. one of nature's noble men. his epitaph, perhaps just a single letter, the l four loyalty. it coursed through his blood. loyalty to his country. loyalty to his family. loyalty to his friends. loyalty to the institutions of government and always, always,
always a friend to his friends. 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, , 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, atlanticfly across the with the secret service folks straining to keep up. bushe 90, george h.w. 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] 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. 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 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. 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. 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. 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, fromved his young family 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 the , 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. he wasn't empathetic man who
valued character over pedigree. and he was no sin it. 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 realized -- recognize 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 his shoulder 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 of later that dad, a man of quiet faith, pray 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. and aides were considered huge winners. most of them off color. [laughter] nurtured and honored his many friendships with a generous and giving sole. thousands of handwritten notes 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. having of 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] that a day was not to be wasted. can play golf at a legendary pace. i always wondered why he insisted on speed golf. is a good golfer. my conclusion is that 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 at 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 we began tove as 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 ofn't said anything for most 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. it is short game was lousy. [laughter] 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. every day of his 73 years of language -- 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. she enjoyedge watching police show reruns, the volume on high. [laughter] while holding mom's hand. strong,e died, he was 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 , 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 than anyone at -- anyone around us? or if we stopped to ask that a sick child had gotten better and state 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 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 is huggingt dad robin and holding mom's hand again. [applause]
instead they put it on its stand and it gives light to everyone in the house. in the same way, let your light shine before men that they may see your good deeds and praise your father in heaven. the gospel of the lord. >> bow your heads in prayer, please. almighty god, of all comfort, console us. of all light, strengthen us, of all love, inspire us. to love you and to love those that you send our way. amen. well, please be seated. is a tremendous honor to follow these speakers, especially someone i admire so much, or 43rd president.
sir, your father always welcome to my visits and never made me feel rushed and always said thank you for coming. never made me feel like i was going on too long. your mother [laughter] said good sermon, too long. i got your email. [laughter] ladies and gentlemen, children of god, when death comes as it does to us all, life is changed. not ended. the way we live our lives, the decisions that we make, the service that we render matters. it matters to our fellow human beings. to this world that god has given to us. and they matter to god.
few people have understood this as well or lived their lives as accordingly as president george .erbert walker bush you hear what i said? lived it. not earned it or strived to achieve it. it was as natural to him as breathing is to each of us. he was a decent man at a godly man. humility, grounded in the desire to serve his god and all god sent his way. how do i know this? because for nearly a dozen years, my wife, laura, our children and i, we have laughed with him, we have fished with him. president bush brought up riding and fidelity.
we had that pleasure as well. the secret service was behind us . in full throttle, i saw many of them reaching for what i thought were protective armor. i realized that they were actually crossing themselves. [laughter] we have been blessed to share meals, moments of silence and prayer in times of great strength and weakness. never, not once, that i witness anything but care and concern for those around him. priest,of a pastor, a and a mom, a rabbi, with dealing with some of their but called to to look to godem to do the right thing, to serve others, and to love.
president bush made my job so easy. lessons from the hebrew scriptures remind us that god is light. he once said he was a man who sees life as missions defined and mrs. -- missions completed. he reminded us that they were points of light with but one aim , to leave our world better than we found it. i have a political cartoon of the 41st president. i keep it in my desk, with caricatured big ears. sitting at his desk, looking at his watch, saying to himself that communism is dead, the wall is down, mandela is free, the sandinistas are ousted. germany is reuniting, the cold war is over, i returned my calls and heck, it's not even lunchtime. [laughter]
>> we sometimes forget all that president bush did for us. in large part because he preferred to shine not upon himself, but to shine to others. several years ago, president bush gave me this plaque. on the back is a note. a good friend gave this to me some years ago, it may be of help to you in some way. it reads, simply -- praise christ at all times. if necessary, use words. it remains on my desk as a reminder that faith means more than words. jesus christ for george bush -- were george bush was at the heart of his faith. but his was a deep and generous faith. a simple faith in the best sense of the word. knew and lived the greatest
commandments of jesus, to love god and your neighbor. the president loved and served not just some, but all that god sent his way. adage thats own tolerance is a virtue, not a vice. he respected and befriended christians of every denomination , as well as jews, muslims, buddhists and seeks. his comrades were from every nation and race. yes, he was a republican, but for him political parties were a line in the sand to brush away towards the greater good of working towards his goal for all of us to be a kinder and gentler nation. just read that was for us moments ago reminds us that juices told his followers to be the light of the world. world could turn their hearts towards god and others. let your light shine before others so that they may see your good works and give glory to your father in heaven.
and so was president bush. his life was defined by his faith and his service, worthy of all of those made in god's image. in september of 1990 president bush spoke to those gathered outside those doors for the dedication of this great cathedral. he pointed inside to that magnificent rose window right there from the outside. he spoke these words -- from where we now stand, the rose went high above the black and formless to some, perhaps, but when we enter we see it backlit by the sun. it has olds in astonishing splendor and reminds us that without faith we are but stained-glass windows in the dark. the president understood that even in the darkest of nights, things can be transformed if handed over to the redemptive power of the almighty.
no one on that first good friday expected easter sunday. but it came. it came because the light that brought creation into being also brought life from the grave. we call that resurrection. ago, i was humbled, along with members of the president's staff, his outstanding and loyal medical team, so many friends. who i believe has gotten more press than the president in the last few days. loving members of his family. who called in to speak with him throughout the day. as our 43rd president just said, inspired his last words, words of love. sitting with us was someone the president liked to call his little brother. james baker and his wife, susan.
as i said, there had been wonderful hugs and kind words throughout the day, kisses throughout the day. towards the end secretary baker and i were sitting on the sofa next to each other and he whispered to me that that man changed my life. a bit later secretary baker was at the foot of the president's bed. towards the end, jim baker rubbed and stroked the president's feet. for perhaps half of an hour. the president smiled at the .omfort of his dear friend here, i witnessed a world leader whowas serving a servant had been our world leader. and what came to mind was jesus. on that last night before his own crucifixion, having said everything there was to say, he wrapped a towel around his waist and without words, he washed his
disciples feet. said -- iinished, he set an example for you. do as i have done, serve one another. by this the world will know that you are my disciples. if you serve and love one another. at the end, we all melts. we all placed our hands on the president. we set our prayers together. and then we were silent. for a full long measure. as this man, who changed all of our lives, who changed our world, who changed our left this life for the next. it was a beautiful end. it was a beautiful beginning.
for a moment, but a moment only, that deer point of light that we know so well as george herbert walker bush dimmed, but it now shines brighter than it ever before has. servant godly man, this , this child of god is in the loving arms of barbara and robin and the welcoming arms of our lord, who embraced him with his divine love. some have said in the last few days that this is the end of an arrow. but it does not have to be. perhaps it's an invitation to fill the hole that has been left behind. the president so loved his church. he loved the fiscal church. -- he loved the episcopal church. he loved his great nation and you, his friends. he so loved every member of his family.
but he was so ready to go to heaven. and heaven was so ready to receive him. because he lived those two great commandments. and youant to honor him call yourself a daughter or son of god, then love god. love your neighbor. there is no greater mission on planet earth. hunch is heaven, as perfect , just got a bit kinder and gentler. leaving behind the hole for you and me to fill. how? preach christ at all times. if necessary, use words. mr. president, mission complete.
>> in the assurance of eternal life at baptism, let us proclaim our faith and say that i believe in god, father almighty, believer -- creator of heaven and earth, and i believe in jesus christ, his only son, our lord, conceived by the power of the holy spirit and born of the , suffering under pontius pilate, crucified and died and was buried. he descended to the dead and on he descended and ascended at the right hand of the father and will come again to judge the living and the dead. spirit,e that the holy the holy catholic church, the
lord.os, >> he wept at the grave of your friend lazarus. comfort us in our sorrow. life.sed the dead to give to our brother your eternal life. you promised paradise to the thief who was offended. -- who repented. bring our brother the joys of heaven. our brother was washed in baptism and anointed with the holy spirit. give him fellowship with all your saints. comfort us in our sorrows at the death of our brother. consolationh be our . and eternal life our hope.
>> the rest of christ to your servant with your saint. sign but life everlasting. you only are immortal the creator and maker of mankind and we are mortal, formed of the earth and to earth shall we return. for so did you are doing when you created me saying you are dust and to dust you shall return. all of us go down to the dust.
even at the grave we make our song. hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah. in your hands oh merciful savior we commend your servant george. sheepbly the seat you a of your own fold, a lamb of your own flock, a sinner of euro and redeeming. receive george into the arms of mercy and into everlasting peace. and into the glorious company of the saint in light. amen. now may the god of peace who brought again from the dead our lord jesus christ, the great
shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect to do his will. working in you that which is well pleasing in his sight. the blessing of god almighty the father, the son, and the holy spirit, beyond you and remaining with you in this world in which we live, this day and forever more. amen. >> let us go forth in the name of christ. >> thanks be to god. ♪