George HW Bush’s Casket Arrives at Cathedral for Washington Farewell

December 5, 2018 Updated: December 5, 2018

The casket of former president George H.W. Bush arrived at the National Cathedral in Washington D.C. on Dec. 5 as former President George W. Bush and other former and current officials looked on.

A 21-gun salute was carried out for the 41st president as military members saluted the former commander-in-chief, who was also a World War II veteran before becoming the CIA director for a number of years.

President George H.W. Bush casket is moved
A U.S. military honor guard carries the flag-draped casket of the late former President George H.W. Bush down the steps of the U.S. Capitol, December 5, 2018 in Washington, DC. President Bush will be buried at his final resting place at the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

A military band played “Hail to the Chief” as the casket of the 41st president was carried down the U.S. Capitol steps. George W. Bush placed his hand over his heart and appeared to hold back tears, according to video footage and photos.

Military pallbearers carried Bush’s casket up the steps and into the cathedral, according to The Associated Press.

dog next to bush coffin
Sully, a yellow Labrador service dog for former President George H. W. Bush, sits near the casket of the late former President George H.W. Bush as he lies in state at the U.S. Capitol, December 4, 2018. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

The ceremonies on Dec. 5 were the final in three days of mourning in Washington D.C. as many honored the former Republican president.

The four living ex-presidents all came, including George W. Bush, who will eulogize his father — and President Donald Trump will attend but is not scheduled to speak. Also attending: one king (Jordan), one queen (Jordan), two princes (Britain, Bahrain), Germany’s chancellor and Poland’s president, among representatives of more than a dozen countries, according to AP.

“Looking forward to being with the Bush family. This is not a funeral, this is a day of celebration for a great man who has led a long and distinguished life. He will be missed!” Trump tweeted.

dog near bush
A U.S. military honor guard carries the flag-draped casket of the late former President George H.W. Bush down the steps of the U.S. Capitol, December 5, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
bush family in washington dc
George and Laura were joined by George HW Bush’s children in Washington D.C. (Reuters)

On Dec. 4, President Trump and first lady Melania Trump met with George W. Bush and his family.

Jeb Bush, the former governor of Florida and son of the 41st president, told the Wall Street Journal’s CEO Council on Tuesday: “The president and first lady have been really gracious.”

“You’ll see a lot of joy,” said Ron Kaufman, Bush’s White House political director, told Reuters of the day. “It’ll show the way of life that people took for granted in many ways and now kind of long for.”

On Dec. 4, former U.S. Sen Bob Dole, 95, arrived at the rotunda in a wheelchair. An aide helped Dole to stand and salute Bush, who defeated him in the fight for the 1988 Republican presidential nomination. Dole, who went on to support Bush as a senator, then sat in his wheelchair for a few moments, appearing to hold back tears.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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