President George H.W. Bush To Be Laid To Rest Thursday At Bush Presidential Library
George H.W. Bush, 41st President of the United States, will be laid to rest Thursday, Dec. 6 on the grounds of the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum at Texas A&M University.
President Bush will be buried in his family plot, located behind the Bush Library, alongside his wife, Barbara, who died seven months ago, and daughter, Robin, who passed away in 1953 at the age of three. Although he didn’t attend the university, in 1991 Bush chose Texas A&M as the site of his presidential library, which opened to the public on Nov. 6, 1997.
The Bush School of Government and Public Service opened two months earlier, providing opportunities for Texas A&M students to follow in the president’s footsteps, dedicating their lives to public service.
Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp said Bush’s legacy will forever be remembered in Aggieland.
“Not only was George H.W. Bush one of the greatest presidents in our nation’s history, he also was one of the finest men to serve our country in so many ways,” Sharp said. “We are proud to call him a son of Texas A&M University and will do everything in our power, through his presidential library, to keep his memory and accomplishments alive for all time.”
Texas A&M University President Michael K. Young echoed Sharp’s sentiments, saying the Bush family’s lifelong dedication to public service will be proudly carried forward by the university’s students, former students, faculty and staff.
“The underlying themes that ran through the Bush administration are so consistent with Texas A&M’s values – love of country, love of one another and public service as a noble calling,” Young said. “Every policy, every action, every position was based on those fundamental values. This shared ethos began and solidified the wonderful relationship between the university and President Bush, one which will continue in perpetuity through the Bush School, Bush Foundation and Bush Presidential Library & Museum.”
Almost 100 people — including many students from the Bush School of Government and Public Service — gathered outside Bush’s library and museum for an impromptu vigil just after midnight after hearing news of his death.
The dean of the Bush School, Gen. Mark A. Welsh III, put into words what many were feeling.
“This is a terribly sad day for the Bush School and for our nation. We’ve lost a great leader, a great patriot and a great role model. Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire Bush family. They’ve lost someone who can never be replaced.”
Ryan Crocker served as dean of the Bush School prior to Welsh and as an ambassador to six Middle East countries over his career in public service.
He said during Bush’s presidency, the world changed completely.
“We witnessed the collapse of the East Bloc, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the reunification of Germany, the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait, and the end of the Soviet Union. Under less able leadership, we could have run aground on any of these. His knowledge, experience, judgment and understanding ensured that we did not. America and the world owe him a debt that can never be repaid.
“As the Irish say, his like will not be seen here again,” Crocker said.
Warren Finch, director of the Bush Library, said the former president put his faith in the library staff to create a library and museum befitting his legacy, and they were honored to oblige.
“President Bush was intimately involved in the Presidential Library and local community, from attending exhibit openings and forums, to frequently being seen in the museum and surrounding grounds,” Finch said. “So many people here have been touched by his life and knowing him personally. Through his Presidential Library and Museum we will continue to honor his life and legacy with our utmost reverence.”
“Even as his fellow citizens mourn the loss of this great and good man, we also celebrate with gratitude that George Bush’s life of high purpose and meaning helped to shape the world in which we now live,” said David B. Jones, CEO of the George H.W. Bush Library Foundation. “Our 41st President leaves behind a sterling example of service – public service, selfless service, honorable service. The Bush Foundation, Bush Library and the Bush School are dedicated to preserving and keeping alive this legacy of service, as we tell the remarkable story of George and Barbara Bush and prepare tomorrow’s leaders for careers in public service.”
On Thursday, the president’s casket will arrive in College Station by train, accompanied by Bush family members and close friends. The train will unload at the railroad stop at Wellborn Road and George Bush Drive.
The funeral procession will travel on George Bush Drive toward the Bush Library Complex.
Texas A&M students, faculty and staff, and the community are invited to view the procession. The interment ceremony will be closed to public viewing.
Some areas of campus will be closed in the days leading up to the burial. All of campus will be closed on the day of the burial.
Information related to President Bush’s connection to Texas A&M and updates regarding facility and road closures, parking and viewing areas, maps and more are available at http://honoring41.tamu.edu*.
Remembrances from those who knew him, details of his longstanding relationship with Texas A&M, and more are at www.georgehwbush.com, and on Texas A&M Today.
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