George H.W. Bush Gets One Last Tribute [VIDEO]

George H.W. Bush Gets One Last Tribute [VIDEO]

George H.W. Bush Gets One Last Tribute [VIDEO]

Former President George H.W. Bush was laid to rest today on the grounds of his presidential library on the campus of Texas A&M University, after his state funeral in Washington D.C. and a private funeral in Texas. But the Navy gave the late president one last honor today.

The announcement was made on Tuesday that the Navy would perform a 21-aircraft missing man formation flyover during the funeral today.

A naval aviation official told USNI News that a missing man formation of this size is unprecedented and reflects Bush’s legacy as a naval aviator and ongoing relationship with the Navy’s carrier strike group community.

“Being selected to participate in this memorial is one of the highest honors a Naval Aviator can receive,” Rear Adm. Roy Kelley, commander of Naval Air Force Atlantic, said in a statement.
“In addition to being our president, he was also one of our brothers, flying combat missions off aircraft carriers during World War II. His service to our Navy and nation merits a tribute of this magnitude.”

Aircraft from Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 103, the “Jolly Rogers”; VFA-143, the “Pukin’ Dogs”; VFA-32, the “Swordsmen”; VFA-83, the “Rampagers”; VFA-131, the “Wildcats”; VFA-105, the “Gunslingers”; VFA-31, the “Tomcatters”; and VFA-87, the “Golden Warriors,” all departed Oceana today ahead of their participation in the flyover.

Capt. Kevin McLaughlin, the commander of Strike Fighter Wing Atlantic, will fly the lead plane in the formation. His aircraft has been painted to list “President George H.W. Bush, 41” where the pilot’s name would typically go and “Barbara, First Lady” where the naval flight officer’s name might go.

The flyover was a tribute that George H.W. Bush would have deeply appreciated, and was incredibly impressive.

And now, lying next to his beloved wife Barbara and precious daughter Robin, and having been remembered and honored by the citizens of the country he so devotedly served, may George H.W. Bush rest in peace with the thanks of a grateful nation.

Featured image: original art by Darleen Click

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