Today, the world laid to rest the 41st President of the United States, George H.W. Bush. His funeral was filled with family members, senators, and clergy joyfully recollecting his life and the impact that he had on his family, friends, community, and world.
His son, President George W. Bush, gave the final eulogy during the funeral service at the Washington National Cathedral. Below are a few excerpts from the eulogy, that highlight the impact and legacy that President George H.W. Bush left.
To his very last days, Dad’s life was instructive. As he aged, he taught us how to grow with dignity, humor, and kindness. And when the good Lord finally called, how to meet him with courage and with the joy of the promise of what lies ahead. . . .
The horizons he saw were bright and hopeful. He was a genuinely optimistic man, and that optimism guided his children and made each of us believe that anything was possible.
He continually broadened 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. . . .
Dad could relate to people from all walks of life. He was an empathetic man. He valued character over pedigree. And he was no cynic. He looked for the good in each person and he usually found it.
Dad taught us that public service is noble and necessary—that one can serve with integrity and hold true to the important values like faith and family. He strongly believed that it was important to give back to the community and the country in which one lived. He recognized that serving others enriched the giver’s soul. To us, his was the brightest of a thousand points of light.
In victory he shared credit, when he lost he shouldered the blame. He accepted that 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. . . .
He taught us what it means to be a wonderful father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. He was firm in his principles and supportive as we began to seek our own ways. He encouraged and comforted but never steered. . . .
Of course Dad taught me another special lesson: He showed me what it means to be a president that leads with integrity, leads with courage, acts with love in his heart for the citizens of our country. When the history books are written, they will say that George H.W. Bush was a great president of the United States, a diplomat of unmatched skill, a commander in chief of formidable accomplishment, and a gentleman who executed the duties of his office with dignity and honor.
The entirety of President Bush's eulogy for his father can be read and viewed here, and the entire state funeral can be watched here. Rest in peace, George H.W. Bush.