A somber crowd of more than 1,000 mourners ranging from luminary to ordinary joined together Thursday to sing “America the Beautiful,” kicking off an invitation-only funeral as a week of national mourning for former President George H.W. Bush slowly drew to a close.
Eulogies at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church were being delivered by his son, former President George W. Bush, his best friend and former secretary of state, James Baker III, and his grandson and Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush.
Then the casket will be loaded onto the Union Pacific Railroad’s Presidential Train Car, traveling through Texas cities such as Spring, Magnolia and Navasota to College Station and the campus of Texas A&M University. His final resting place will be on the grounds of the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum alongside his wife and their daughter, Pauline Robinson Bush, who died from leukemia short of her 4th birthday.
More than 10,000 mourners paid their respects to Bush overnight after his body arrived at the church Wednesday from Washington. The service at Washington National Cathedral drew President Donald Trump and all the living former presidents – Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama and George W. Bush.
Mourners at the Houston funeral represented a wide range of America. Members of the Oak Ridge Boys, close friends of the family, were in attendance. So was Fawaz “Fuzzy” Hajjar, who said he served pizza to the Bushes for 25 years at Fuzzy’s Pizza & Café in West Houston.