Bush School Students Lead Saturday Night Vigil For George H.W. Bush
More than 250 people attended a candlelight vigil Saturday night on the campus of Texas A&M University to honor 41st President George H.W. Bush, who passed away a day earlier at the age of 94.
The vigil organized by the Bush School Student Government Association, Bush School Ambassadors Council and the Bush School Public Service Organization was attended by Texas A&M students and members of the local community. The program included singing “God Bless America,” “Anchors Away,” and “Amazing Grace.”
Rebecca Schwarz, a master’s student in international affairs at the Bush School of Government and Public Service and member of the its Student Government Association, said her peers felt a bond with the late president and wanted to honor his memory.
“Though none of us had the opportunity to meet President Bush himself, we feel as if we have a strong connection to him because we are being educated in his name,” Schwarz said. “Though we were drawn to attend the Bush School for a variety of reasons, a common thread among all of the students here –both students on the Public Service and Administration track and the International Affairs track – is that we were inspired by President Bush’s commitment to public service.”
Chris Griffin, president of the Bush School Student Government Association, said the vigil was an opportunity to recognize the Bush family.
“This was a way for Bush School students to give back and let the Bush family know how much President Bush meant to us,” he said. “He is one of the primary reasons I chose to attend Texas A&M. I was inspired by his service to our country.”
Aunja Staymates, chair of the Bush School Public Service Organization said Bush inspired her to pursue a career in public service.
“The work he has done has been extraordinary,” she said. “He was a phenomenal leader who was not afraid to stand up for what he believed in – to stand up for what he knew was right. Having difficult conversations can be challenging, but he did it with dignity and humanity and that is very inspiring for me.”
President Bush will be laid to rest in a private ceremony on the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum grounds Thursday, Dec. 6.