It was as if grace and decorum suddenly descended on Washington, if only for a short time. In the Capitol rotunda, the forty-first president, George H.W. Bush was eulogized by congressional leaders and the Vice-President.
The former president’s flag-draped casket arrived on Air Force One, before being transferred to Capitol Hill late Monday afternoon. The coffin will lie in state in the Capitol Rotunda until Wednesday.
Along with Vice President Mike Pence, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell also offered remarks about the passing of the 94-year-old (watch the full ceremony above).
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
Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Chuck Schumer were also in attendance, placing wreaths near the coffin.
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) August 31, 2018
— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) December 3, 2018
Supreme Court justices were also present at the gathering.
— 1010 WINS (@1010WINS) December 3, 2018
Donald Trump made a brief, unexpected visit to the rotunda later in the evening.
Pres and Mrs Trump stand in silence at the flag-draped casket bearing the remains of Pres. George H. W. Bush. pic.twitter.com/RKKJWP35NB
— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) December 4, 2018
A funeral will be held Wednesday at Washington National Cathedral. The New York Times also reports:
President Trump will attend but not speak at this week’s funeral service for former President George Bush, seemingly a compromise intended to respect tradition while avoiding an awkward moment given the animosity between the current president and the Bush family.
Instead, eulogies will be delivered by former President George W. Bush, Mr. Bush’s son, and two friends, former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney of Canada and former Senator Alan Simpson, Republican of Wyoming. Rounding out the speakers will be Jon Meacham, the Pulitzer-winning historian and author of the definitive biography of the 41st president.