Thousands of Texans and supporters of the 41st president gathered to show their respect as former President George H.W. Bush made his last trip to Texas.
People crowded outside of St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Houston, Texas, lining up in order to catch a glimpse of the casket, remembering his years of service.
The past several days, the nation has mourned the loss of H.W. Bush, honoring him as he lie in state in the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., as thousands filed through, a state funeral held in the Washington National Cathedral, where prominent figures — including all living former presidents — listened to heartwarming eulogies, such as the 43rd president’s eulogy for his father.
Now, the people of Texas are honoring H.W. Bush as he lie in repose, a funeral service will be held, and the burial at George H.W. Bush Presidential Library & Museum.
The St. Martin’s Episcopal Church is where the late 94-year-old’s family would worship and where the services for former U.S. First Lady Barbara Bush were held, when she died eight months prior.
According to former H.W. Bush’s spokesperson Jim McGrath, about 5,000 people filed their way through the church late Wednesday to pay their respects to the late president.
Wednesday morning people lined up outside the Houston church about 10 hours prior to the opening of the church to visitors, Fox News reported.
By the most recent count, approximately 5,000 persons have passed through the @SecretService security checkpoint for the public repose in the state funeral of President George HW Bush. The process is running smoother now and wait times are under an hour. #Remembering41 #Bush41
— Jim McGrath (@jgm41) December 6, 2018
Jennifer Dawson, who worked for former George W. Bush during his presidency, told Fox 26 Houston that H.W. Bush as the “most wonderful father and husband and he just loved his family,” highlighting 41 as “the most down-to-earth, real-life person I’ve ever met in my life.”
George W. Bush’s presidential eulogy for his father and former U.S. president was heartwarming as he choked back tears sharing the discussion with his father during his final moments, concluding the eulogy as he explained H.W. Bush was the “best father,” as IJR Red reported:
“The guy answered the phone, said, ‘I think he can hear you, but he hadn’t said anything for most of the day.’ I said, ‘Dad, I love you and you’ve been a wonderful father.’ And the last words he would ever say on earth were, ‘I love you too.’”
The funeral in Houston will have about 1,200 people in attendance with several people giving eulogies, including James Baker, who was U.S. Secretary of State and White House Chief of Staff under H.W. Bush’s presidency, and H.W. Bush’s son and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.
The funeral train that will transport Pres George H. W. Bush and his family from Houston to the Bush Library at Texas A & M in College Station will be pulled by a locomotive painted in the colors of Air Force One, a tribute from @UnionPacific. pic.twitter.com/jfcOCCP3PE
— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) December 6, 2018
Following the funeral, the casket will be taken by train on a two and a half hour trip to allow people to pay their respects, as its destination will be the Bush presidential library located on the campus of Texas A&M University in College Station.