George HW Bush’s remains arrive to lie in state in the Capitol Rotunda

The remains of the late President George H.W. Bush arrived Monday to lie in state at the U.S. Capitol as family members, senators, congressmen, cabinet secretaries, Supreme Court justices, and Vice President Pence paid their respects.

Bush’s flag-draped coffin found its repose beneath the Capitol Dome, on the catafalque built to rest the remains of Abraham Lincoln, surrounded by paintings depicting the founding of the nation he once led. 

The Naval Academy Glee Club serenaded the former president, a Navy pilot who was the last veteran to occupy the Oval Office.

Politicians praised his service, his leadership, his modesty and his kindness as the Bush family, including his son the former President George W. Bush, looked on. 

The remains of former President George H.W. Bush lie in state beneath the dome, in the rotunda of the U.S. Capitol

The former president’s remains are carried into the rotunda as dignitaries watch

Vice President Pence, former President George W. Bush, former first lady Laura Bush, and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush were in attendance

Members of the Bush family look on as Vice President Mike Pence speaks with them

Vice President Mike Pence paid tribute to the former president’s service – both in the military and the government. 

But he also recalled Bush’s modesty and kindness, telling a story of a note Bush sent to his son Michael, a Marine aviator, only a few months ago.

‘He was so modest, in fact, he never wrote an autobiography but he left a record of his life in the thousands of letters he wrote,’ he said. 

He recalled how he had written the former president – a Navy pilot – when his son received his gold wings, asking him ‘to sign a picture of a flight deck that I could give to my son.’

He added he wasn’t surprised when the requested photo came back signed with a note from Bush attached to it. 

Bush told his son, he recalled, that: ‘Though we have not met I share the pride your father has in you – I wish you many CAVA days ahead.’

CAVA, the vide president explained, is a term Navy pilots use and means ceiling and visibility unlimited.

‘CAVU, in his own words describes his own life,’ Pence said.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Bush made a similar journey to the Capitol 30 years ago for his inauguration as the 41st President of the United States.

McConnell recalled Bush’s words from his inaugural address: ‘He said we met on democracy’s front porch … a good place to talk as neighbors and friends.’

Congressional leaders pause by the former president’s casket as a military honor guard looks on

At the end of the service, the Bush family, led by former President George W. Bush and former first lady Laura Bush, circled the former president’s coffin

Vice President Pence paid tribute to Bush’s service – both in the military and in the government

His flag-draped coffin was laid to rest on the catafalque built to rest the remains of Abraham Lincoln

Bush family members, Vice President Pence, senators, congressmen, cabinet secretaries, members of the Supreme Court, and distinguished guests paid tribute to the late president

Vice President Mike Pence (R), Second Lady of the United States Karen Pence (2R), Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) (2L), and his wife Janna Ryan (L) were among the dignitaries paying tribute to the former president

Former Vice President Dan Quayle, former Secretary of State James Baker, former Vice President Dick Cheney, and former Secretary of State Colin Powell, arrive at the Capitol

Crowds in front of the Capitol awaiting the remains of President George H.W. Bush

‘Today this hero has returned to the Capitol a final time not on the front porch of democracy this time but here in its hallowed cathedral,’ he said.

McConnell remembered Bush’s years as a Naval pilot, including being shot down in World War II and called him a ‘steady hand, staying the course’ for the country.

‘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 September 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 over the Pacific. A steady hand, staying the course. That’s what George Bush gave us for decades,’ he said. 

Speaker Paul Ryan recalled him as a ‘great leader and a good man.’

‘He showed us that how we live is as important as what we achieve.’

‘He was the first president I had the chance to vote for,’ Ryan recalled, ‘and he was the first president to teach me and others that sometimes in a democracy you fall short. And how you handle that – that is just as important as how you win.’

Congressional leaders laid wreaths at the coffin and then went to hug members of the family. 

It was George W. Bush, the son who followed his father to the White House, who led the family around the coffin and out the door. 

The former president will in state until Wednesday and the public will be allowed to pay their respects to his remains.

The flag-draped casket of former President George H.W. Bush is carried by a joint services military honor guard to the U.S. Capitol

A flag bearing the presidential seal followed Bush’s coffin

The former president’s remains arrived at the Capitol as the sun set with the Supreme Court building the background 

Defense Secretary James Mattis, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker were among the Trump Cabinet officials in attendance

Cabinet members of the late former President George H.W. Bush walk past the casket

Bush’s remains arrived at the U.S. Capitol on Monday after a 1,200-mile flight from Houston and a dramatic motorcade that grabbed the nation’s attention with flashing lights and pealing sirens.

A military band played ‘Hail to the Chief’ – the president’s theme – and a four-cannon salute rang out as the sun was setting over the capitol. 

The afternoon pallbearers, military men all, hoisted the casket up the formidable Capitol steps in cadence, making their way up the marble stone staircase.

As ‘A Mighty Fortress is Our God’ echoed off the pavement, the setting sun seemed to bore into George W. Bush, the late president’s eldest son who also shared his office.

The younger George stared ahead stoically as his father’s coffin and its flag drapery passed. Members of the Bush family joined him atop the Capitol to watch their elder statesman’s remains arrive to lie in state beneath its dome.

Shadows of men and women in military dress uniforms lengthened. Ceremonial honor guardsmen’s sabers glinted in the late light. And with 55-degree temperatures holding on a December day, America began to say its goodbyes.

Inside, a list of dignitaries awaited just the ninth U.S. president to lie in state there. They included Gen. Colin Powell, the late President Bush’s secretary of state, and James Baker, his lifelong friend who served him for decades in his political campaigns, at the White House, and across the globe.  

The sun was setting as former President George H.W. Bush’s remains were brought to the U.S. Capitol

The hearse carrying the remains of former President George H.W. Bush proceeds up Constitution Avenue en route to the U.S. Capitol

His son, former President George W. Bush, and former first lady Laura Bush watched from the top of the Capitol stairs with other members of the Bush family

Representatives of the various branches of the military carried his coffin up the Capitol stairs

The former president arrives atop the Capitol stairs, he will lie in state in the rotunda until Wednesday

Bush died Friday at the age of 94. He will lie in state in the Capitol Rotunda until Wednesday morning, when the week’s series of somber events continues with a memorial service at the National Cathedral.

House and Senate members, Supreme Court justices, Cabinet members, and Vice President Mike Pence gathered in front of a one-of-a-kind catafalque – a wooden platform that once supported the coffin of America’s 16th president Abraham Lincoln. 

Former White House Chief of Staff John Sununu, former Vice President Dick Cheney, and former Secretary of State Colin Powell were also on hand to honor Bush, along with Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. 

The most distinguished Washingtonian, President Donald Trump, stayed 16 blocks down Pennsylvania Avenue but is expected to pay his respects later in the evening.

But the arrival ceremony on the Capitol plaza involved breathtaking views of a silent sunset that shone off the Supreme Court and Library of Congress, reflecting the sadness of a nation that senses the uncertainty of a page turning. 

George H.W. Bush’s casket reached an airbase near Washington aboard the plane that he and his son George W. Bush both used as Air Force One. 

Former first lady Laura Bush, former President George W. Bush and members of the Bush family hold their hands over their hearts as they watch the former president arrive to lie in state

Members of the military were hand to greet the former president’s remains

Military formations from all of America’s armed services flanked the hearse on the Capitol plaza; Bush’s casket will remain in the Rotunda for more than 40 hours

The hearse carrying the remains of former President Bush arrived at the Capitol as the sun set

The U.S. flag flew at half-staff on Monday prior to the arrival of the casket of former U.S. President George H.W. Bush at the U.S. Capitol in Washington

Memebers of the Supreme Court including Justices Brett Kavanaugh (L), Neil Gorsuch (C), and John Roberts (R) waited in the Capitol Rotunda, where Bush he will lie in state until Wednesady morning

Bush, the 41st U.S. president, died Friday and will be laid to rest this week following four days of ceremonies and memorials

The chief upholsterer of the House of Representatives vacuumed the Lincoln catafalque as preparations for the arrival of the Bush’s body

The late president’s casket had a military escort on both ends of Monday’s flight between Houston and Washington, with a group of eight pallbearers from a combination of the U.S. military services

The elder Bush spent four years in Congress, one at the helm of the CIA, eight as vice president and four in the White House.

‘Special Air Mission 41’ – the aircraft known as Air Force One when living presidents are aboard – touched down just before 3:30 p.m. at Joint Base Andrews, where a Cadillac hearse flying the U.S. flag and bearing the Seal of the President of the United States waited on an expansive tarmac.

Along with a military band and honor guards arrayed like parade-ground marchers without a commander to review them, a contingent of 114 crew members of the USS George H.W. Bush stood at attention while the jumbo jetliner touched down and taxied.

Aboard the plane with the former president’s remains were his sons George W. and Neil and their families. George W. Bush was America’s 43rd president. Former first lady Laura Bush also made the trip from Houston.

So, too, did Sully, the late president’s service dog. 

Jeb Bush, the former Florida governor who ran unsuccessfully for president in 2016, joined the extended family along with his wife Columba, on the tarmac.

‘Special Air Mission 41,’ the flight carrying the remains of the late former U.S. President George W. Bush, touched down Monday afternoon at Joint Base Andrews near Washington, D.C. 

Former President George W. Bush (center) and former first lady Laura Bush (right) joined brother Neil Bush and his family deplaning from the jet that serves as Air Force One

A contingent of 114 crew members of the USS George H.W. Bush, a modern aircraft carrier, stood at attention while the jumbo jetliner touched down and taxied on Monday

Former President George W. Bush (left) emerged from the same plane that ferried him around the world from 2001 to 2009, with his first lady at his side

Jeb Bush (right of center, front row) joined the rest of the family at Joint Base Andrews from Florida; his wife Columba is to his left

Family and former staffers attended a brief departure ceremony Monday at Ellington Field Joint Reserve Base, a Texas Air National Guard base, watching as a contingent of eight soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines took Bush’s flag-draped casket to the Boeing 747 for a last trip to Washington. 

At Ellington and at Joint Base Andrews in D.C.’s Maryland suburbs, 21-gun salutes boomed and military bands played ‘Hail to the Chief.’ 

At JBA, they also played ‘America’ as a color guard hoisting a yellow-fringed U.S. flag advanced in front of the pallbearers in a somber scene Americans see only a few times each generation. 

Bush’s casket on Monday occupied part of one cabin onboard whose seats were removed from the plane by a JBA crew after President Donald Trump’s return Sunday from the G20 summit in Argentina. 

Specialized scissor-lift trucks at both airfields delivered and retrieved the casket with only stiff-blowing breezes as soundtracks. 

‘Bush 43’ and Laura, the former first lady, climbed the plane’s stairs in Houston and gave a somber wave, followed by the rest of of the extended family. 

A few minutes later ‘Poppy,’ as the grandchildren of the man who was once the U.S. military’s youngest fighter pilot called him, was airborne.

In Washington, the centerpiece of the week’s remembrances will be a memorial service at the National Cathedral. President Donald Trump will attend but will not speak.

The Bushes have little affection for Trump, who belittled Jeb Bush relentlessly during the 2016 campaign. 

Sitting presidents have delivered eulogies at the last three presidential funerals. George W. Bush eulogized Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan. Bill Clinton spoke at Richard Nixon’s funeral.

Sully, the yellow Labrador retriever service dog of former President George H.W. Bush, walked thorugh Joint Base Andrews after the arrival of ‘Special Air Mission 41’

The level of ceremonial gravity on Monday is something Americans see only once or twice per generation 

The remains of President George H.W. Bush traveled from Texas to Washington, D.C. on Monday aboard Special Air Mission 41, the temporary callsign of the plane that serves as Air Force One whenever the current president is on board

A group of eight pallbearers representing branches of the U.S. armed forces took Bush’s remains from a hearse in Houston and carried it to the Air Force One jet at Ellington Field Joint Reserve Base

Former President George W. Bush and former first lady Laura Bush waved as they boarded the plane that once served as his Air Force One transport; on Monday they were aboard to accompany the remains of George’s father back to Washington

Bush’s casket wasn’t loaded directly onto the plane; military pallbearers placed it on a truck that is normally used to carry food and water to the four-engine jumbo jet; the truck’s cargo space is mounted on a scissor-lift that can reach an aft door

The Texas-based Bush clan including George Wl, Laura and Neil stood with hands on hearts during Monday morning’s departure ceremony

Secret Service agents had carried the president’s body out of the George H. Lewis Funeral Home in Houston, placing it in a hearse for a motorcade-drive to Ellington Field Joint Reserve Base, where the world’s most famous aircraft awaited.  

As the procession took up the southbound lanes of Interstate 45, motorists driving along the northbound lanes pulled over in a miles-long show of respect.

The departure ceremony featured a 21-gun salute and a U.S. Army Band contingent from Fort Sill, Oklahoma playing ‘Hail to the Chief,’ plus the four ‘Ruffles and Flourishes’ trumpet fanfares that precede it. 

The late 41st president’s son Neil also accompanied his body on the unique Boeing 747, renamed ‘Special Air Mission 41’ for the flight, as it travels to Joint Base Andrews in the Maryland suburbs of Washington. 

Sully will be reassigned to a wounded warrior at Walter Reed Naval Medical Center near Washington. The dog was photographed lying in front of Bush’s casket at the funeral home on Monday. 

The pair of planes that serve as President Trump’s ‘Air Force One’ jets were first placed into service during George H.W. Bush’s time in office. They are scheduled to be retired in 2021. 

The Lincoln catafalque, a wooden platform that once supported the coffin of America’s 16th president, was placed in the center of the Capitol Rotunda on Monday in preparations for the arrival of Bush’s casket

invited guests watched soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines carrying the flag-draped coffin on Monday morning

Pallbearers, all members of the U.S. Secret Service, brought Bush’s casket out of a Houston funeral home Monday morning and loaded it into a hearse for a motorcade-drive to Ellington Field, where the presidential Boeing 747 awaited

Joint service members rehearsed on Sunday for the arrival of Bush’s remains at the U.S. Capitol, where he will lie in state in the Rotunda

Bush will lie in state in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda from Monday through Wednesday, when a state funeral is scheduled at the National Cathedral.

A contingent of former Bush staff members now living in Texas will join the mourners leaving Houston on Monday morning.

After a public viewing at an Episcopal church in Houston, Bush’s casket will be placed on a Union Pacific train car and pulled 70 miles to the town of College Station, home of Texas A&M University, where his presidential library is located. 

Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses Grant, Franklin Roosevelt and Dwight Eisenhower were honored in the same way, traveling to their final resting places on trains that Americans lined up to see as they passed.

Members of the military played ‘Hail to the Chief’ and accompanied a 21-gun salute with a long drum roll at Ellington Field

The 41st President will be carried to his final rest wearing socks (left) that pay tribute to his lifetime of service, starting as an 18-year-old naval aviator; at right, Brian Blake, former communications director at the George H.W. Bush Library and Museum, paused Saturday in front of a statue of the former president

The locomotive chosen for his final journey was customized in Bush’s honor in 2005 and painted with the number ‘4141’ in his honor. He marveled at its unveiling that year and asked to take it for a ride. 

On Thursday his casket will be in a train car with Plexiglas windows to allow people to see it during the trip. 

The 41st president died at his Houston home on Friday night, seven months after his wife Barbara passed away. 

After services in Washington, attended by President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump, there will be another funeral in Houston on Thursday followed by burial at the Bush Presidential Library in College Station, Texas.

Bush will be laid to rest alongside his wife of 73 years and Robin Bush, their daughter who died of leukemia in 1953 at age 3.

Trump tweeted late Monday morning: ‘Looking forward to being with the Bush Family to pay my respects to President George H.W. Bush.’

Neil Bush, right, and his family, walked out after the family service at the Lewis Funeral Home; Sully, the late president’s service dog, exited with them

Bush served two terms as vice president under fellow Republican President Ronald Reagan before winning his own White House term from 1989 to 1993.  

His time in office saw the end of the Cold War. Bush also presided over the United States’ routing of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein’s army in the 1991 Gulf War.

He failed to win a second term after breaking a ‘no new taxes’ pledge.

Remembrances to George H.W. Bush and Barbara Bush sprang up over the weekend in the neighborhood where he made his home, at a memorial in a city park, and at the Houston airport named in his honor.

Retired Gen. Colin Powell, who as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff was Bush’s top military adviser, said Bush was the ‘perfect American’ for serving his country in so many different capacities and should be remembered for ‘a life of quality, a life of honor, a life of honesty, a life of total concern for the American people.’

‘He was a patriot. He demonstrated that in war, he demonstrated that in peace. He was able to demonstrate that in his four years of service,’ Powell said Sunday on ABC’s ‘This Week.’

After a public viewing at an Episcopal church in Houston, Bush’s casket will be placed on a Union Pacific train car and pulled by this customized locomotive to his final resting place

The 70-mile journey to College Station, Texas will take about 2-1/2 hours on Thursday; College Station is home to Texas A&M University, where Bush’s presidential library and his family burial plot are located 

As Monday’s motorcade procession took up the southbound lanes of Interstate 45, drivers on the northbound lanes pulled over in a miles-long show of respect

Sully, the late President Bush’s service dog, lay in front of his casket at the funeral home in Houston on Monday

Trump has ordered the federal government closed Wednesday for a national day of mourning. Flags on public buildings are flying at half-staff for 30 days as a show of respect.

Bush’s passing puts him back in the Washington spotlight after more than two decades living the relatively low-key life of a former president. His death also reduces membership in the exclusive ex-presidents’ club to four: Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

One of Bush’s major achievements was assembling the international military coalition that liberated the tiny, oil-rich nation of Kuwait from invading neighbor Iraq in 1991. The war lasted just 100 hours. He also presided over the end of the Cold War between the United States and the former Soviet Union.

A humble hero of World War II, Bush was just 20 when he survived being shot down during a bombing run over Japan. He joined the Navy when he turned 18.

Shortly before leaving the service, he married his 19-year-old sweetheart, Barbara Pierce, and forged a 73-year union that was the longest presidential marriage in U.S. history until her death. Bush enrolled at Yale University after military service, becoming a scholar-athlete and captaining the baseball team to two College World Series before graduating Phi Beta Kappa after just 2½ years.

Officials gathered Monday morning outside the George H. Lewis Funeral Home as they prepared for the departure ceremony

The U.S. flag above the White House flew at half-staff in Bush’s honor on Monday, along with flags at all other federal buildings

After moving to Texas to work in the oil business, Bush turned his attention to politics in the 1960s. He was elected to the first of two terms in Congress in 1967. He would go on to serve as ambassador to the United Nations and China, head of the CIA and chairman of the Republican National Committee before being elected to two terms as Ronald Reagan’s vice president.

Soon after he reached the height of his political popularity following the liberation of Kuwait, with public approval ratings that are the envy of today’s politicians, the U.S. economy began to sour and voters began to believe that Bush, never a great communicator – something even he acknowledged – was out of touch with ordinary people.

He was denied a second term by then-Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton, who would later become a close friend. The pair worked together to raise tens of millions of dollars for victims of a 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and Hurricane Katrina, which swamped New Orleans and the Gulf Coast in 2005.

‘Who would have thought that I would be working with Bill Clinton of all people?’ he joked in 2005.

In a recent essay, Clinton declared of Bush: ‘I just loved him.’


Former President George H.W. Bush will be honored during several public and private events in Houston and Washington before his burial Thursday in Texas. 

Four days of events for Bush, who died Friday at age 94, include a state funeral at Washington’s National Cathedral, a private service at his longtime church in Houston and public viewings in both cities. He will be buried next to his wife Barbara and their daughter Robin who died in 1953.


Bush’s body will be transported by a motorcade Monday morning from a Houston funeral home to Ellington Field Joint Reserve Base, a Texas Air National Guard base. The casket will be loaded onto a plane during a departure ceremony scheduled to start at 10:30 a.m. CST and flown to Joint Base Andrews in Maryland.

Relatives accompanying the casket will include his sons, former President George W. Bush and Neil Bush, along with members of their immediate families. The rest of the Bush family is expected to be at Joint Base Andrews when the body arrives.

Houston will host a public tribute to Bush on Monday night. Mayor Sylvester Turner has urged attendees to wear colorful socks, a nod to the former president’s fondness for sporting loud socks often emblazoned with unusual patterns during public events.

Bush spokesman Jim McGrath tweeted Monday that Bush will be laid to rest wearing gray socks honoring his days as a naval aviator.


In Washington, Bush will lie in state in the rotunda of the U.S. Capitol from Monday at 7:30 p.m. EST until Wednesday at 8:45 a.m. EST. His casket will be transported by motorcade Wednesday morning to the National Cathedral, where a state funeral will be held at 11 a.m. EST. President Donald Trump, who ordered federal offices closed on Wednesday for a national day of mourning, is to attend with first lady Melania Trump.


Following the service at the National Cathedral, Bush will be flown to Houston on Wednesday with a scheduled arrival of around 4:30 p.m. CST. His body will be transported by motorcade to St. Martin’s Episcopal Church, where he and his wife regularly worshipped. A public viewing of Bush’s casket will be held at the church from 6:45 p.m. CST on Wednesday until 6 a.m. CST on Thursday.

On Thursday, a private funeral service with about 1,200 invited guests will be held at the church starting at 10 a.m. CST. After the hour-long service, a motorcade will transport Bush’s casket to a train station north of Houston, near the international airport named after Bush.

A ceremony will be held at the train station as Bush’s casket is loaded onto a Union Pacific train. The train will take about 2½ hours to travel roughly 70 miles (113 kilometers) to the city of College Station, home to Bush’s presidential library at Texas A&M University.

The locomotive has been painted the colors of the Air Force One plane used during Bush’s presidency and bears the number “4141” in honor of the 41st president. The casket will be in a car with Plexiglas windows to allow people to see it during the trip, according to family spokesman Jim McGrath.


The train is scheduled to arrive in College Station on Thursday around 3:45 p.m. CST. Bush’s casket will then be transported by motorcade to the presidential library, where he will be buried at the gated family plot near his wife and their daughter Robin, who died of leukemia at age 3. Barbara Bush died on April 17 at their Houston home. The couple was married for 73 years , longer than any other U.S. presidential couple.

Ceremonies at the presidential library will include a missing man formation flyover. The casket will then be rolled along a path through woods, over a bridge and over a creek for burial during a private graveside service with Bush’s family.

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