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George HW Bush funeral: Former president flown to Texas after moving eulogies at National Cathedral

Follow latest updates as mourners arrive to pay tribute to the former president

Chris Riotta
New York
,Chris Stevenson,Joe Sommerlad
Wednesday 05 December 2018 20:54 GMT
Former US President George Bush Sr diesaged 94

George HW Bush, the 41st president of the United States, is being honoured in a funeral service at Washington National Cathedral today following three days of mourning in which his body lay in state at the Capitol Rotunda.

The Texas Republican, an ex-oil executive who served in the Oval Office between 1988 and 1992 having previously been Ronald Reagan's vice-president and CIA director, oversaw the post-Cold War transition and led a successful Gulf War in Iraq.

The four living ex-presidents - Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, Bush's son George W Bush and Barack Obama - are in attendance at the service, with George W Bush giving an emotional eulogy where he called his father "wonderful".

Current President Donald Trump sat in the front row with the Obamas, Clintons and Mr Carter.

Follow live updates below

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Hello and welcome to The Independent's coverage of the funeral of George HW Bush, the 41st president of the United States.

Joe Sommerlad5 December 2018 12:35

The three days of mourning - in which the president's coffin, draped in the Stars and Stripes, stood on display at the Capitol Rotunda in Washington - concluded this morning.

In addition to the four previous occupants of the White House attending today's service will be the king and queen of Jordan, princes from Britain and Bahrain, Germany's chancellor Angela Merkel and Poland's president Andrzej Duda, among representatives of more than a dozen countries. 

Joe Sommerlad5 December 2018 12:49

After the national funeral service at the cathedral, Bush's remains will be returned to Houston to lie in repose at St Martin's Episcopal Church before burial on Thursday at his family plot on the presidential library grounds at Texas A&M University in College Station.

His final resting place will be alongside Barbara Bush, his wife of 73 years who died in April, and Robin Bush, the daughter they lost to leukemia in 1953 at age three. 

Joe Sommerlad5 December 2018 12:51

President Trump, who will attend but not speak today, ordered the federal government to close its doors on Wednesday for a national day of mourning.

Flags on public buildings will fly at half-mast for 30 days.

Joe Sommerlad5 December 2018 12:57

Those who will remember the president today with a memorial address include Bush's eldest son George W Bush, president himself between 2000 and 2008; Alan Simpson, the former senator from Wyoming, known as an acerbic wit; Brian Mulroney, the former Canadian prime minister who also gave a eulogy for Ronald Reagan; and presidential historian Jon Meacham.

Joe Sommerlad5 December 2018 13:00

A number of politicians and officials have paid tribute to Mr Bush while he has been lying in state.

Here is Bob Dole, 95, getting up from his wheelchair to salute the late president.


Chris Stevenson5 December 2018 13:10

The White House has also lowered its flags to half-mast.


Chris Stevenson5 December 2018 13:22

A number of nations around the world will also honour Mr Bush, with the Senate of Canada one of those to fly its flag at half-hast.


Chris Stevenson5 December 2018 13:31

Wednesday's state funeral for the late president will be attended by "formers" Barack Obama, George W Bush, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter. The last time they were together with Trump was at his inauguration in 2017. Recalling the funerals for Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan, they will all sit together in Washington National Cathedral, with the exception of the younger Bush, who will be seated nearby with his family.

Chris Stevenson5 December 2018 13:37

As for the Cathedral service, all eyes will be on that front row, given Mr Trump's animosity towards Mr Obama and Mr Clinton's wife - the former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Mr Trump spent his entire presidential campaign belittling Ms Clinton and accusing her of crimes relating to her use of a personal email account for government business when she was secretary of state.

Chris Stevenson5 December 2018 13:51

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