Americans will begin saying goodbye to former President George H.W. Bush on Monday when his body arrives in Washington for public viewing in the Capitol Rotunda — a rare honor that will be bestowed on a man who earned the respect and admiration of many with his leadership, bravery and grace.
The public viewing will kick off four days of events that will include a state funeral at Washington’s National Cathedral on Wednesday and a private service at Bush’s longtime church in Houston on Thursday. But tributes from leaders around the world have been pouring in since his death Friday night.
Former Secretary of State Colin Powell called him “a perfect American” for how “he served the country in so many capacities.”
“He never forgot who he was,” Powell, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during Bush’s presidency, told ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday. “He never let it all go to his head. He was a man of great humility.”
Bush, who died at his Houston home at age 94, will be buried Thursday on the grounds of his presidential library at Texas A&M University.
In Washington D.C., he will lie in state in the Capitol Rotunda from 7:30 p.m. Monday to 8:45 a.m. Wednesday. President Donald Trump, who ordered federal offices closed for a national day of mourning on Wednesday, is to attend with first lady Melania Trump and other high-ranking officials.
James Baker, Bush’s former chief of staff and secretary of state, called his boss’ tenure in office “a consequential presidency” because of his foreign policy achievements.