Today is a national day of mourning as America remembers he life of President George H.W. Bush who will be honored at a funeral service at Washington D.C.
Bush’s casket has been lying in state in the U.S. Capitol rotunda since Monday, with a river of mourners passing through around the clock.
The federal government will be closed today, as will the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq.
Points of Light, the world’s large organization dedicated to volunteer service, is asking people to pledge time to volunteer as a way to honor the 41st president’s legacy.
Bush popularized the phrase “a thousand points of light” to inspire Americans to engage in public service and later formed the non-profit.
The service is closed to the public, but will be aired live on C-SPAN and covered by major television networks.
The casket and the Bush family will arrive at the National Cathedral just before 11 a.m., when the service is expected to begin.
Four men are expected to deliver eulogies:
- Historian Jon Meacham, who wrote a Bush biography
- Former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, who held the post while the elder Bush was president
- Former Sen. Alan Simpson, R-Wyo., who has known the Bush family since the 1960s
- The late president’s son George W. Bush, also a former president
Special honor guard:
Marine Corps Gen. Joseph F. Dunford,
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Air Force Gen. Paul J. Selva,
Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Army Gen. Mark A. Milley,
Chief of Staff of the Army
Marine Corps Gen. Robert B. Neller,
Commandant of the Marine Corps
Navy Adm. John M. Richardson,
Chief of Naval Operations
Air Force Gen. David L. Goldfein,
Chief of Staff of the Air Force
Air Force Gen. Joseph L. Lengyel,
Chief of National Guard Bureau
Coast Guard Adm. Paul F. Zukunft,
Commandant of the Coast Guard
Navy Adm. John Aquilino
Navy Vice Adm. DeWolfe Miller
Retired Navy Vice Adm. Frank Pandolfe
Retired Navy Vice Adm. Nora Tyson
Navy Rear Adm. Kenneth Whitesell
Retired Navy Rear Adm. David Thomas, Jr.
Navy Rear Adm. Andrew Loiselle
Navy Rear Adm. Stephen Evans
Navy Rear Adm. William Pennington
Retired Navy Rear Adm. Brian Luther
Retired Navy Rear Adm. Gregory Nosal
Navy Capt. Sean Bailey
Retired Navy Capt. Kevin O’Flaherty
ORDER OF SERVICE:
Organ Prelude, George Fergus (Organist, Washington National Cathedral)
“Nocturne,” The United States Marine Orchestra
“Lay me Low,” The Armed Forces Chorus
“Our Town,” The United States Marine Orchestra
“My Song in the Night,” The Armed Forces Chorus
“Hymn to the Fallen” & “America the Beautiful,” The Armed Forces
Chorus and The United States Marine Orchestra
“Four Ruffles and Flourishes,” “Hail to the Chief,” and “For All the
Saints,” The United States Coast Guard Band
The Reception of the Body, The Most Reverend Michael Bruce Curry, Presiding
Bishop and Primate, The Episcopal Church and The Right Reverend
Mariann Edgar Budde, Bishop, the Episcopal Diocese of Washington
“My house shall be called a house of prayer,” The Cathedral Choir
The Anthems in Procession, The Reverend Dr. Russell Levenson, Jr., Rector,
St. Martin’s Episcopal Church, Houston, Texas
“Praise, my soul, the King of Heaven”
The Collect for Burial, The Very Reverend Randolph Marshall Hollerith, Dean,
Washington National Cathedral
The First Reading
Isaiah 60:1-5, 18-20, Mrs. Lauren Bush Lauren & Ms. Ashley Walker Bush
Tribute, Mr. Jon Meacham, Presidential Historian and Author
“The King of love my shepherd is,” The Cathedral Choir
The Second Reading
Revelation 21:1-4, 23-25, Mrs. Jenna Bush Hager
Tribute, The Right Honourable Brian Mulroney, Eighteenth Prime Minister of
Tribute, The Honorable Alan K. Simpson, former United States Senator, Wyoming
“Last full measure of devotion,” Ronan Tynan (soloist) & The Armed Forces
Chorus and the United States Marine Orchestra
Tribute, The Honorable George W. Bush, Forty-Third President of the United States
“O God, our help in ages past,” The Armed Forces Chorus with the United
States Marine Orchestra
The Holy Gospel, Matthew 5:14-16, The Very Reverend Randolph
Marshall Hollerith, Dean, Washington National Cathedral
Homily, The Reverend Dr. Russell Levenson, Jr., Rector, St. Martin’s
Episcopal Church, Houston, Texas
Musical Reflection, “Friends”, Michael W. Smith (soloist)
The Apostles’ Creed
The Lord’s Prayer, Ronan Tynan (soloist)
The Prayers, The Reverend Canon Jan Naylor Cope, Provost,
Washington National Cathedral
“Eternal Father, strong to save,” The Armed Forces Chorus with
The United States Marine Orchestra
The Commendation, The Right Reverend Mariann Edgar Budde,
Bishop, the Episcopal Diocese of Washington; The Very
Reverend Randolph Marshall Hollerith, Dean, Washington
National Cathedral; The Reverend Dr. Russell Levenson, Jr.,
Rector, Saint Martin’s Episcopal Church, Houston, Texas
The Blessing, The Most Reverend Michael Bruce Curry, Presiding
Bishop and Primate of The Episcopal Church
The Dismissal, The Very Reverend Randolph Marshall Hollerith,
Dean, Washington National Cathedral
“For all the saints”
Musical Honors, The United States Coast Guard Band
“Four Ruffles and Flourishes”
“Hail to the Chief”
“Holy God, we praise thy Name”
Organ Postlude, George Fergus, Organist, Washington National
“Final,” from “Symphonie I, Op. 14”
A number of dignitaries from the United States and around the world set to be in attendance.
President Trump and first lady Melania Trump will attend, along with their predecessors—Barack and Michelle Obama, Bill and Hillary Clinton and Jimmy and Roslyn Carter.
George W. Bush, wife Laura Bush, as well as former presidential candidate Jeb Bush, will also be present.
World leaders have also flown in for the funeral.
Prince Charles will be representing Queen Elizabeth II.
Also from the United Kingdom, John Major, who served as British prime minister while Bush was in the White House.
Current heads of state will also take their place in the cathedral, most notably German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
“I mourn George Bush, the 41st president of the United States, as the chancellor of the German Federal Republic but also as a German who, without the results of his policies, would hardly be standing here,” Merkel told reporters, paying tribute to Bush’s efforts to reunify Germany.
King Abdullah II and Queen Rania of Jordan will join Merkel in paying their respects as will Polish President Andrzej Duda and former Polish President Lech Walesa.
Former Mexican President Carlos Salinas and Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda will also represent their countries.
The following world leaders are expected to attend:
Abdullah II Ibn Al Hussein and Rania Al-Abdullah, King and Queen of Jordan
Sir Peter Cosgrove, Governor-General of Australia, and his wife Lady Lynne Cosgrove
Andrzej Duda, President of Poland
Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany
HRH Charles, Prince of Wales
Abdullah bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Prince of Bahrain
Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, former Emir of Qatar
Anibal Vaco, former President of Portugal
Toomas Hendrik Ilves, former President of Estonia
Lech Walesa, former President of Poland
Carlos Salinas, former President of Mexico
Sir John Major, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, and his wife Dame Norma Major
Nasser Alahmed Al-Sabah, former Prime Minister of Kuwait
Yasuo Fukuda, former Prime Minister of Japan
John Swan, former Premier of Bermuda
Children of deceased US Presidents:
Susan Ford Bales
Tricia Nixon Cox & Edward Cox
Luci Baines Johnson & Ian Turpin
Lynda Johnson Robb & Senator Charles Robb
THE NATIONAL CATHEDRAL:
President Bush played an important role in the history of the cathedral chartered by Congress in 1893.
On Sept. 29, 1907, President Theodore Roosevelt laid the foundation stone.
Exactly 83 years later, Bush was there when the final stone was laid in place.
Bush said at the time: “We have constructed here this symbol of our nation’s spiritual life, overlooking the center of our nation’s secular life, a symbol which combines the permanence of stone and God — both of which will outlast men and memories.”
Bush is the fourth president to have his state funeral at the site.
The others were Dwight D. Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford. Seven other presidents had memorial services there.
HOME TO TEXAS:
Bush’s casket will return to Texas following the funeral for the last time.
He’s expected to lie in repose at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Houston until 7 a.m. EST Thursday.
The church will also hold its own memorial service for the former president later that morning.
A motorcade will take Bush’s body to Union Pacific Railroad Westfield Auto Facility, where a funeral train will transport the late president’s remains to Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas.
He’ll be laid to rest on the grounds of the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum, near his wife, Barbara, and their daughter Robin, who died of leukemia in 1953 at age 3.