This morning’s funeral of former U.S. president George H.W. Bush signalled a clear generational change.
Indeed, the 94-year-old Bush was of a different era: a patrician who grew up in a rarified world of prep schools and the Ivy League, an old-school career politician and diplomat, and the last World War II combat veteran to serve as president.
Attended by all five living presidents—Donald Trump, George W. Bush, Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, and Jimmy Carter—the funeral also saw a guest list that reflected Bush’s six-decade political career, including five former vice-presidents, three secretaries of state, and international figures such as England’s Prince Charles and German chancellor Angela Merkel.
With eulogies by Bush biographer Jon Meacham, Senator Alan Simpson, former prime minister Brian Mulroney, and George W. Bush, the ceremony was subdued but laudatory, and the speeches sidestepped the anti-Trump sentiment displayed at Senator John McCain’s recent funeral.
Still, there was an obvious discomfort among the former presidents when Trump arrived to sit with them, and a chilly reception for the current commander-in-chief.
Later today, Bush’s remains will be flown home to Houston where he will lie in repose at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church. Tomorrow morning, he will then be taken by train to College Station, Texas, where he will be buried alongside his wife Barbara and daughter Robin at the George Bush Presidential Library and museum.