Former First Lady Barbara Bush was buried Saturday (April 21) in a private ceremony on the grounds of her husband’s presidential library at Texas A&M University.
A request made in recent weeks by Mrs. Bush was granted when members of the Texas A&M Corps of Cadets lined both sides of Barbara Bush Drive leading to the library and museum as her husband, 41st President George H.W. Bush, and son, George W. Bush, the 43rd president, slowly drove past. The 700 cadets, punctuated by members of Aggie Band’s Bugle Rank, saluted as the 13-vehicle procession followed behind her hearse.
Another wish from Mrs. Bush was granted as 15 members of Texas A&M’s Singing Cadets performed two hymns — “Eternal Father” and “How Great Thou Art” — at the burial site where only extended family members gathered.
Greeting the political dynasty as they neared Mrs. Bush’s final resting place — which is behind the library to the south in a wooded area along a manicured trail — were two large wreaths created by Texas A&M School of Floral Design Director Bill McKinley. The displays included pink roses, greenery and cherry blossoms to remind President Bush of time the couple spent in Washington D.C. and China. An added touch on each were a strand of large faux pearls — a nod to the iconic fashion trend Mrs. Bush started more than two decades ago.
The low-key event — which family members said Mrs. Bush insisted upon it being — was after an invitation-only funeral at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Houston where the couple joined in the 1950s. More than a dozen Houston motorcycle and patrol officers escorted the procession to Aggieland, blocking off entrance ramps to U.S. 290 and Texas 6 to allow for the Bush group to pass through.
Thousands of well-wishers turned out along highways and streets on the 100-mile route, especially in College Station as the motorcade made its way from Texas Avenue onto George Bush Drive before turning onto the library property.
The officers — as well as staffers and the 40 or so members of the media who were corralled not far from the entrance of the driveway leading to the library — stepped away from the site as the motorcade slipped beyond public view. The ceremony, according to Mrs. Bush’s instructions, was meant only for family and was to be brief.
The 92-year-old was buried in the small gated plot beside her daughter, Pauline Robinson “Robin” Bush, who passed away in 1953 at the age of 3 after battling leukemia.