Click here for more great photos of George H.W. Bush. The 41st president of the United States
In the end, a peaceful passing for the president
His friendship has been one of the great gifts of my life – former president Bill Clinton
My Eulogy for President George H. W. Bush
I can remember the evening clearly. Glued to the television inside a suite mate’s dorm room in college, we watched expectantly, wondering if it might finally happen.
We finally got either tired of waiting or just too hungry and headed over to the cafeteria for dinner. Upon our return, Tom’s voice bellowed from inside his room…”We bombed em’ gentlemen!” He said with a strong taste of pride. Tom had been in the air force before arriving at Quincy college for soccer camp that year. He had a little different perspective on what was happening. For the rest of us, the experience was somewhat surreal. The sites and sounds of an actual war were not something any of us had experienced first-hand ever before. I remember listening to and watching the anti-aircraft guns as they shot fireworks across the sky and it was then that I understood why we do what we do every fourth of July.
The feelings and images combined to produce a wierd combination of excitement and fear. We had no idea what might happen next. Soon, of course, we all grew a little numb to the exercise. Watching video footage of bombs hitting distant targets becomes tiresome and rote quite quickly. In fact, much of it looked like the same footage played over and over again.
One of the images that stands true and memorable for me, of course, is that of President Goerge H. W. Bush. Firmly confirming what we had decided to do, and why. Confidently explaining to us that America was in charge. It didn’t take very long before we believed that was true. Iraq was no match for the volume and sophistication of force that is the US Military.
Listening to others eulogize the president during the state funeral service, I was transported back to that time. When he was young, strong, and in complete control and charge of both himself, his country, and his military. I was grateful for him as my president. And I am even more grateful for him today.
Last year, during the super bowl, he appeared just before the game to initiate the coin toss. I was very glad to see him and my heart sank a little. He looked old and frail and I immediately wondered whether or not he would be here for the next one. I have my answer now. Still, for some reason, I will always feel a great deal of gratitude that he was able to make that appearance. It appeared to please him and his wife, Barbara, greatly. Maybe even more than it did me. It was the last time I personally ever saw them alive together.
I encourage you to spend some time with this page on my blog. This tribute to the man that coined the beautiful phrase, “a thousand points of light.” He was a good man. A hard working man. A loving and kind and generous man. A humble man. A family man.
That is the part that really came through today as I watched his body transported from the capital to the cathedral, and then off to the airport so that he could fly to Texas one more time. The part of the story that shows us his love and his humility. His devotion to his country and to serving that country with undying loyalty.
He left us a great legacy. A legacy worth full immersion so that each of us can take some of that light and keep it shining forward.
In helping to inspire the impact of his legacy on all of us, I collected a number of poignant statements from his funeral service today. I hope you’ll find as much inspiration from them as I did.
From each day forward after he was shot down in World War II, to him, his life was no longer his own. His gratitude for being spared inspired his commitment to serve.
The key to a good George H.W. Bush impersonation according to Dana Carvey, is in cultivating a careful combination of Mr Rogers and John Wayne.
George H.W. Bush was as a believer and student of what he saw as the science of relationships.
“He was our shield in danger’s hour.” -John Meacham, Historian
“Politics is not a pure undertaking.” -George H.W. Bush
“What would we do without family and friends.” -George H. W. Bush
“One thousand points of light.” -George H. W. Bush
Bush signed into law the Americans with Disabilities Act
Public service is noble and necessary.
Humility is necessary to enter the kingdom of God.
Failure is part of living a full life, and failure should NEVER define YOU.
He was sustained by the love of the almighty.
As a father, he encouraged and comforted, but NEVER steered.
Faith is more than words.
In death, Life is changed, not ended.
Your service and your legacy are important to God.
Those who travel the high road of humility in Washington, as Bush did, do not see a lot of traffic. –Senator Alan Simpson
George H. W. Bush was one of nature’s noblemen.
He was always a friend to his friends.
He thought about his crew mates on the plane that was shot down for the rest of his life.
His optimism made his children believe that anything is possible.
“Without faith, we are not but a stained glass window in the dark.” -The priest at George H W Bush’s state funeral
The Bicentennial Presidential Inauguration by George H W Bush