President Donald Trump shook the hand of former President Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama during the funeral of George H.W. Bush on Dec. 5.
Trump and First Lady Melania Trump were seated next to the Obamas, who were in turn seated next to the Bushes. The Clintons were seated between the Bushes and Carters. It’s the first time all of the men have been in the same room together.
Former President George W. Bush eulogized his father, the 41st president, along with former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, former Sen. Alan Simpson, and his biographer Jon Meacham.
“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 before the funeral.
Bush’s casket will be loaded on Air Force One for another memorial service in Texas. Then, his casket will be buried in College Station, Texas, at his presidential library, according to reports.
“Let us know the blessings of knowing and loving you,” Bush said during the funeral before he broke down in tears. “A great and noble man. The best father a son or daughter could have. And in our grief, let us know dad is hugging Robin and holding mom’s hand again.”
Robin, his younger sister, died from leukemia at the age of 3. His mother, Barbara Bush, died earlier this year at age 92. His dad died at the age of 94 over the weekend.
He also thanked the former president for teaching him how to be a leader. “Of course, dad taught me another special lesson,” said Bush. “He showed me what it means to be a president who serves with integrity, leads with courage and acts with love in his heart for the citizens of our country.”
“George H.W. Bush was America’s last great soldier-statesman,” Jon Meacham, who was his presidential biographer, said in the eulogy. “He stood in the breach in the Cold War against totalitarianism. He stood in the breach in Washington against unthinking partisanship,” he added.
“He never lost his sense of humor. Humor is the universal solvent against the abrasive elements of life. That’s what humor is. He never hated anyone. He knew what his mother and my mother always knew: hatred corrodes the container it’s carried in,” said former Sen. Simpson. “The most decent and honorable person I ever met was my friend, George Bush. One of nature’s noblemen. His epitaph, perhaps just a single letter, the letter ‘L’ for loyalty. It coursed through his blood. Loyalty to his country, loyalty to his family, loyalty to his friends, loyalty to the institutions of government and always, always, always a friend to his friends.”