More than a thousand guests attend a private funeral for former First Lady Barbara Bush Saturday, including four former Presidents and First Ladies.
Mourners gathered at St. Martin's Episcopal Church in Houston to celebrate the life of the matriarch of the Bush family, who was the wife of one president and the mother of another. She died on Tuesday at 92.
While Saturday's service is for family and friends only, a visit took place on Friday Public, where people in the church made their appearance until midnight. Bush's husband, former President George H.W. Bush made a last-minute decision to welcome mourners in the church.
On Saturday morning he organized a reception for the dignitaries present before the private service. Meanwhile, the church began to fill up with lesser-known family friends, including former collaborators and secret service members who protected them for more than three decades.
Many of the women present avoided black in favor of a vivid royal blue, Bush's signature color. The mood in the church was more solemn than sad – full of hugs and kisses – like a reunion of old friends.
President Trump is not participating in Saturday's service to avoid "disturbances" and out of respect for the Bush family, the White House has said. First Lady Melania Trump is there for the Trump family. Former President Jimmy Carter will also be absent; He takes care of his wife Rosalynn Carter, who is recovering from the surgery, he said in a statement.
Former President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, as well as former President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton sit at the front Englisch: www.mjfriendship.de/en/index.php?op…=view&id=167 Before the beginning of the service, Trump said on Twitter, "I'm going to the White House to see the funeral service of Barbara Bush, First Lady Melania has arrived in Houston to pay our respects a nice day!"
The worship service Praise from Bush's longtime confidant Susan Baker, wife of former Secretary of State James Baker and historian Jon Meacham, who wrote a biography of her husband in 2015. Bush's son, Jeb Bush, will also pay tribute.
The election of Jeb Bush as an eulogist rather than her son, former President George W. Bush, is notable in part because of his hostile relationship with Trump in 2016's campaign and afterwards. Bush himself criticized Trump during the election, saying during an interview it was "unintelligible" that someone would vote for Trump for his insulting remarks.
As part of the ceremony, Bush's only living daughter, Dorothy Bush Koch, will read an adapted excerpt from William Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet", the same lines that Robert F. Kennedy paid homage to in 1964 at the Democratic National Convention his battered brother, former President John F. Kennedy. The passage reads:
And when she dies
Take her and cut her out in little stars,
And she will make the face of heaven so beautiful
That the whole world will be in love with her Night
And do not lean on the bright sun.
After the service, Bush's grandsons are to carry the coffin out of the church. The Bush family will then travel by motorcade about 90 miles to the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library at College Station, Texas, where she is buried. She is laid to rest next to her daughter Robin, who died of leukemia at the age of three.
During Friday's public viewing, attendees received a commemorative card with a statement by Bush stating, "George Bush and I am the two happiest people in the world, and when all the dust has settled and all the crowds have gone are the things that are important, faith, family and friends. "