December 5, 2018, 11:48 AM
Thousands honoring the life and legacy of former President George H.W. Bush at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday.
President Trump has declared Wednesday a national day of mourning, as the nation remembers its 41st president. Mr. Bush has been lying in state since Monday in the Capitol.
The ceremony began at 11 a.m., and can be watched in the live player above.
Jenna Bush Hager reads from Revelations 21
Mr. Bush’s granddaughter Jenna Bush Hager — who is both the daughter and granddaughter of presidents — read from Revelations 21.
“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away,” she read with emotion.
Meacham recalls the time Bush shook a mannequin’s hand
Presidential biographer Jon Meacham recalled with humor the time Mr. Bush shook a mannequin’s hand when looking for votes on the campaign trail. He soon realized his mistake.
“On the primary campaign trail in New Hampshire once, he grabbed the hand of a department store mannequin asking for votes. When he realized his mistake, he said, ‘Never know. Gotta ask,'” Meacham remembered.
Biographer Jon Meacham says Bush 41 was an “imperfect” man who left a “more perfect” union
Presidential biographer Jon Meacham delivered the first remarks about the former president.
“An imperfect man, he left us a more perfect union,” he said.
Meacham said the former president taught others to heed not their worst instincts, but to live to be their best selves.
Meacham also spoke of the tender relationship Mr. Bush and Barbara Bush had. She said he was the only man she ever kissed, a comment that repulsed her children.
Funeral program details
Here is the program outline for the 41st president’s funeral:
- Lauren Bush Lauren and Ashley Walker Bush reading, Isaiah 60:1-5, 18-20
- Presidential historian and author Jon Meacham delivers tribute
- Jenna Bush Hager reading, Revelation 21:1-4; 6-7; 23-25
- Former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney delivers tribute
- Former Sen. Alan Simpson delivers tribute
- Ronan Tynan sings anthem
- Former Pres. George W. Bush delivers tribute
- Rev. Randolph Marshall Hollerith, Dean of National Cathedral delivers Gospel
- Rev. Russell Levenson, Jr., Rector of St. Martin’s Episcopal Church, Houston, delivers homily
Casket carried into cathedral in procession
The casket of the former president was carried solemnly by members of the military into the cathedral, as an emotional former President George W. Bush looked on.
Former President George W. Bush enters cathedral
Former President George W. Bush entered the cathedral at 11:13 a.m., alongside former first lady Laura Bush. He shook the hands of Mr. Trump and the first lady, along with all the other former presidents and first ladies seated in the front row of the cathedral.
As the first hymn together began, George H.W. Bush looked on at first, not singing.
Bush family walks into cathedral
The Bush family walked solemnly down the middle of the cathedral towards the front shortly after 11 a.m.
Trump and First Lady Melania Trump arrive
With barely 10 minutes to spare and nearly everyone else seated, President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump arrived in the cathedral.
Mr. Trump exchanged cordial, but not warm, handshakes with former President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama, as he took his seat. The first lady is seated in between them.
Clintons arrive at cathedral
Former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, along with their daughter, Chelsea, were pictured in the cathedral at roughly 10:30 a.m. They interacted with the Obamas briefly, along with other dignitaries.
The Obamas arrive at National Cathedral
Former President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama are in the National Cathedral. The Obamas interacted briefly with Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen Pence.
Prince Charles spotted in National Cathedral
England’s Prince Charles was spotted in the National Cathedral Wednesday morning, speaking with Major Gen. Colin Powell.
Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh in cathedral
Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, whose confirmation process was a battle this fall, is in attendance at the National Cathedral.
Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner in National Cathedral
President Trump’s daughter and senior aide Ivanka Trump, and Trump son-in-law and senior aide Jared Kushner were spotted in the National Cathedral.
The current president and first lady are expected to leave the White House shortly.
Former President George W. Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush leave Blair House
Former President George W. Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush departed Blair House en route to the National Cathedral shortly before 10 a.m.
Peyton Manning, Phil Michelson arrive
Former NFL star Peyton Manning and golf pro Phil Michelson arrived at the cathedral Wednesday morning.
Manning also visited Bush’s casket on Tuesday.
Thousands visited Bush’s casket in the Capitol
From Monday afternoon through Wednesday morning, thousands of people filed through the Capitol Rotunda to pay their respects to the former president.
One of the most poignant moments came Tuesday, when Mr. Bush’s former political rival and fellow World War II veteran Bob Dole stood from his wheelchair to pay his respects.
Dole salutes Bush
Former Bush political rival and fellow World War II veteran Bob Dole stood to pay his respects to the former president on Tuesday, in what became one of the most poignant moments of the viewing of his casket.
National Cathedral begins to fill up
Long before the funeral was set to begin, guests began arriving at the National Cathedral to remember the former president.
According to the Bush family spokesman, the cathedral seats more than 3,000 people, and they expect it to be filled to capacity.
Trump tweets his respect for Bush 41
Mr. Trump tweeted Wednesday morning that he looks forward to celebrating the life of the former president with the Bush family.
Mr. Trump and First Lady Melania Trump made a brief visit to Blair House to visit with the Bushes Tuesday, and the first lady and former first lady Laura Bush toured the White House Christmas decorations.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel visits Blair House
German Chancellor Angela Merkel visited the Bush family at Blair House early Wednesday morning. She is expected to attend the funeral.