#Remembering41: George W. Bush Delivers Moving Tribute To His Father

#Remembering41: George W. Bush Delivers Moving Tribute To His Father

#Remembering41: George W. Bush Delivers Moving Tribute To His Father

The service today for President George H.W. Bush was one filled with solemnity and laughter. The eulogies from John Meacham, former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, and Alan Simpson gave us so much insight into a man who was not only President, he was a very good friend. But it was George W. Bush’s eulogy that drew a picture of a man who adored his wife and loved his family with all his being.

I don’t know about you, but seeing George W. gently tap his father’s casket as he walked by led to the room getting a bit dusty.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, Pool

I don’t know how he did it after saying goodbye to his mother only a few months ago, but this was a beautifully moving tribute, which you can read in full here. 

I once heard it said of man that the idea is to die young, as late as possible. At age 85, a favorite pastime of George H.W. Bush was firing up his boat, the Fidelity, and opening up the three 300-horsepower engines to fly, joyfully fly across the Atlantic with the secret service boats straining to keep up. At age 90, George H.W. Bush parachuted out of an aircraft and landed on the grounds of Saint Anne’s by the sea in Kennebunkport, Maine, the church where his mom was married and where he worshiped often. Mother liked to say he chose the location just in case the chute didn’t open. In his 90’s, he took great delight when his closest pal, James A. Baker, smuggled a bottle of Grey Goose vodka into his hospital room. Apparently it paired well with the steak Baker had delivered from Morton’s.

George W talked about his father’s optimism, his humor (even when he found out they’d been sharing a bathroom in Odessa with ladies of the night!), valued character above all else, and when you serve do the very best you can to serve with integrity.

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.

George spoke of his father’s loyalty and the friendships he built over the years. He spoke of father’s unconditional love to his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. And an aversion to vegetables.

To us, he was close to perfect. But not totally perfect. His short game was lousy. He wasn’t exactly Fred Astaire on the dance floor. The man couldn’t stomach vegetables, especially broccoli.

George H.W. Bush was a man who deeply loved his country.

In his inaugural address, the 41st president of the United States said this: “We cannot hope to only leave our children a bigger car, a bigger bank account. We must hope to give them a sense of what it means to be a loyal friend, a loving parent. A citizen who leaves his home his neighborhood and town better than he found it. What do we want the men and women who work with us to say when we are no longer there? That we were more driven to succeed than anyone around us? or that we stopped to ask if a sick child had gotten better and stayed a moment there to trade a word of friendship?” Well, Dad, we’re gonna remember you for exactly that and much more. And we are going to miss you. Your decency, sincerity, and kind soul will stay with us forever. So through our tears let us know the blessings of knowing and loving you, a great and noble man, the best father a son or daughter can have. And in our grief, let us smile knowing that Dad is hugging Robin and holding Mom’s hand again.

George H.W. Bush, as Amanda said here, was a man of letters and a man of honor. A gentleman and a true patriot who loved this Republic with every ounce of his being. He was a family man through and through.

George W. Bush’s tribute to his father is one I will remember always.

Thank you Mr. President. Enjoy your reunion with your precious Robin and never let go of Barbara’s hand again.

Feature Photo Credit: AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, Pool

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