×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

President Trump, Predecessors Gather for George H. W. Bush’s State Funeral

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump will gather with his former predecessors at Washington National Cathedral on Wednesday for the state funeral of George H.W. Bush, an event likely to emphasize the 41st president’s decency and grace at a time when politics has gotten more tribal and polarized.

Prince Charles and other world figures are also expected to attend. Former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney will deliver one of the eulogies, along with biographer Jon Meacham, former Senator Alan Simpson, and Bush’s son, former President George W. Bush.

Trump will not speak at the service, but the Bush family made a point of inviting him despite a chilly relationship with him over the years. Bush did not vote for him, and George W. Bush chose none of the above.

But those divisions were not apparent as the Bush family returned to Washington, first to attend a ceremony as Bush lied in state at the Capitol Rotunda. Trump and First Lady Melania Trump visited with Bush and Laura Bush at the White House on Tuesday, and later went to Blair House, across the street, later in the day. Trump also declared Wednesday a national day of mourning.

The cathedral in northwest Washington is where the elder Bush comforted his son at a memorial service in the aftermath of 9/11, one of many national events that have been held in the gothic revival space. Former president Woodrow Wilson is buried in one of the crypts, and the cathedral is also the final resting place of Helen Keller and, most recently, Matthew Shepard.

It is also where John McCain’s funeral was held on Sept. 1, but his family did not invite the Trumps. Some of the eulogists contrasted McCain’s character and political spirit with that of Trump.

No such statement is expected that the Bush funeral, but it’s likely that he will be eulogized as a leader unique for his devotion to public service.

Early on Wednesday, the grounds of the cathedral were surrounded by very heavy security, with precautions taken no matter the notoriety. Media figures like Tom Brokaw, Lester Holt, Bret Baier, and Andrea Mitchell gathered in a holding area in another building along with dozens of other reporters before they were escorted into the church.

The ceremony also will feature readings from three of Bush’s granddaughters, Lauren Bush Lauren, Ashley Walker Bush, and Jenna Bush Hager. Soloists Michael W. Smith and Ronan Tynan will perform musical interludes, along with the U.S. Marine Orchestra, the Armed Forces Chorus, the U.S. Coast Guard Band and musicians from the cathedral.

The cathedral’s bourdon bell will ring 41 times — Bush was the 41st president — as the cortege moves from the United States Capitol to the Cathedral.

More Politics

  • Sarah Huckabee Sanders Jemele Hill

    Sarah Huckabee Sanders to Leave the White House

    White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders is leaving her position at the end of the month, President Donald Trump said Thursday. In two tweets, Trump announced Sanders’ departure for her home state of Arkansas before thanking her for “a job well done.” He also recommended her for the Arkansas governor position, writing, “She is [...]

  • Kellyanne Conway

    Federal Watchdog Says Kellyanne Conway Should Step Down

    A federal watchdog has recommended that White House counselor Kellyanne Conway should be fired for repeated violations of the Hatch Act. In a report on Thursday, the U.S. Office of Special Counsel found that Conway had used TV appearances and social media platforms to disparage Democratic presidential candidates while speaking in her official capacity. “Ms. [...]

  • Jessica Biel Clarifies Anti-Vaccine Stance

    Jessica Biel: 'I Am Not Against Vaccinations'

    Jessica Biel clarified her stance on vaccinations after public outcry over news that the actress joined Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to lobby against a California state pro-vaccine bill. “I am not against vaccinations,” Biel wrote on Instagram Thursday morning. “I support children getting vaccinations and I also support families having the right to make educated [...]

  • 'The Sinner' film premiere

    Jessica Biel Joins Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to Lobby Against California Vaccine Bill

    Jessica Biel joined the controversial anti-vaccination advocate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to lobby against a California state pro-vaccine bill on Tuesday, revealed in several social media posts. “Please say thank you to the courageous @jessicabiel for a busy and productive day at the California State House,” Kennedy posted on Tuesday with a series of pictures [...]

  • Hope Hicks Resigns

    Hope Hicks to Give Closed-Door Testimony to Judiciary Committee

    Hope Hicks, the chief communications officer at Fox, has agreed to answer questions before the House Judiciary Committee next week. The hearing will be held behind closed doors, but the committee will make a transcript available afterward. The committee is continuing to follow up on the report of Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Hicks is set [...]

  • Michael Wolff Fire and Fury

    5 Takeaways From Michael Wolff's 'Siege: Trump Under Fire'

    Michael Wolff’s “Siege: Trump Under Fire” looks at the 45th president’s second year in office, detailing everything from a potential indictment to Melania Trump’s mysterious hospitalization. It’s the follow-up to Wolff’s “Fire and Fury,” and though this installment likely won’t reach the commercial heights of its predecessor, it’s certainly not lacking in titillating reveals. Several [...]

  • Donald Trump

    Trump Says His Meghan Markle ‘Nasty’ Comment Was Taken Out of Context

    After first denying he made the comment, President Trump now says his remark describing Meghan Markle as “nasty” was taken out of context, telling Piers Morgan instead that he thinks the Duchess of Sussex is actually “very nice.” Trump called Markle “nasty” in an interview with British tabloid The Sun ahead of his three-day state [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content