George H.W. Bush left this earth on Friday, but his memory lives on in the many stories people are sharing as we approach a National Day of Mourning to reflect on his extraordinary life.
On Monday, President Trump paid his respects to Bush while he lies in state. Trump had authorized the use of Air Force One – even ripping out cabin seats – to transport the remains of the former President to Washington.
The elder Bush left an indelible mark on many people throughout a lifetime of public service. So much so, that it’d be nearly impossible to condense some of the greatest stories to these pages.
Still, I’d like to share just a few that stand out about the man who served as the 41st President of the United States between 1989 and 1993.
H.W. Bush strongly defended his son, W
Fox News host Sean Hannity played an interview he conducted with H.W. Bush in 2004, where the former President vociferously defended his son from vicious attacks by the media and Democrats.
The elder Bush said it hurt when he was attacked personally as President, but that it was “far worse when they go after your son.”
The pair discussed incidents in which former Vice President Al Gore declared that George W. had “betrayed his country” and charges from then-Senator Ted Kennedy that he had “concocted a war for political gain.”
@MSNBC @CNN @CBS @ABC @PBS LIARS!!!!! They Hated Him…..Until He Passed.#Hannity @marklevinshow
Truth……George H W Bush Knew Exactly What The #MSM Were & Are.
You Are ALL A Transparent Disgrace To Real Journalists pic.twitter.com/FTMzYIgawV
— Covfefe Sherry (@Hyperslw4Trump) December 4, 2018
It should give people a moment of pause to consider the current political atmosphere and how detrimental it is to the President of the United States, when Bush said the following during this interview almost 15 years ago:
“I’ve never felt the climate like it is now,” Bush said. “If you think I feel strongly about it, talk to Barbara Bush.”
Bush 41 sent a ‘cherished package’ to Mike Pence’s Marine son
Vice President Mike Pence shared a story involving his Marine son and the special gift he received from the 41st president.
USMC Lt. Michael Pence graduated from Naval aviator training, a ceremony which he said included making a “tailhook” landing on the U.S.S. George H.W. Bush.
Pence wrote to the former President, but was told he had long-since stopped the practice of providing signed correspondence.
Yet, shortly thereafter, Pence’ son received a package that included an autographed picture of the flight deck of the U.S.S. George H.W. Bush.
VP Mike Pence tells a story about reaching out to President Bush after his naval aviator son made his 1st tailhook landing on the USS George H.W. Bush.
“Though we have not met, I share the pride your father has for you during this momentous occasion,” Bush wrote in a letter. pic.twitter.com/Ijf7ucUSLq
— The Situation Room (@CNNSitRoom) December 3, 2018
Bush was a favorite among members of the Armed Forces
Former Vice President Dick Cheney discussed Bush’s way of working with service members, saying he was considered a “rock star” amongst the military.
“He was a rock star as far as the troops are concerned,” Cheney, who served as H.W.’s Defense Secretary. “They love him, they really appreciated his leadership and it was remarkable to watch.”
Cheney speculated it was Bush’s service to the country in World War II that made him so endearing to the troops.
Cheney’s daughter, Rep. Liz Cheney (WY) also relayed a story about Bush writing her a personal letter, defending her father from unwarranted media attacks.
“I received a note from Bush 41 saying that my dad was one of the finest Americans he had ever known and how proud he was that his son had picked my dad to be his vice presidential running mate,” Ms. Cheney said. “It’s something obviously that I will treasure forever.”
Letter to Dan Quayle’s children
Following Bush’s defeat in the 1992 election, despite being down over the loss, Quayle said the former President took time out to write his children a personal letter.
Dan Quayle may well be one of the most misaligned individuals castigated by the press. Had many political disagreements with former President George H. Bush, but no one can argue that George H was one of the most civil, cordial,… https://t.co/nzRtuM77qd
— Timothy D. Howard (@hafsusa) December 3, 2018
“That was so touching and so revealing in a time when he obviously wasn’t feeling the best, (he’d) just been defeated,” Quayle recalled. “He took time out to console my children. We’ll never forget that.”
Despite their differences, Bush wanted Trump to attend his funeral
As perhaps his final act of grace, George H.W. Bush, despite the many differences his family had with President Trump, insisted that he be in attendance at his funeral.
The Bush family has reached out to President Trump and first lady Melania Trump to invite them to the funeral service of former President George H.W. Bush https://t.co/HlgN9i3Pxz pic.twitter.com/2f13ZfyHP6
— CNN (@CNN) December 1, 2018
“If anybody at anytime knew anything about the 41st president of the United States, they would completely and totally understand that he would welcome the current occupant 100 percent,” said an aide in the office of the former president.
“This is the way the country says goodbye to presidents.”
Trump, for his part, used Air Force One to transport Bush’s casket to Washington, designated December 5th as a National Day Of Mourning, and has ordered flags lowered to half-staff at all federal buildings for 30 days.
This is indeed how the country says goodbye to Presidents.