HOUSTON — People said the honor of participating in Barbara Bush’s public visitation outweighed any headache.
Some not only got to pass the former First Lady’s casket. They got to greet President George H.W. Bush as well.
“It’s absolutely breathtakingly beautiful,” one mourner said.
“I just love what she stood for,” said another.
People started getting in line at Second Baptist Church as early as 4 a.m. Friday. KHOU 11 News spoke with people on board the first round trip to St. Martin’s Episcopal Church. That’s where President Bush greeted some of the mourners as they paid their respects.
It was a touching sight Jhabba Washington was not expecting.
“I didn’t know he was there until we actually got up front, and there he was,” Washington said. "He took time to shake everybody’s hand.”
Some people took the day off to go through the process. Others just wanted to be a part of history no matter how long it took.
“The church was very beautiful,” said Darlene Espinosa. “Just something you could not imagine.”
“I just felt close to her, even though I didn’t know her,” said Tana Lively. “She’s just like my mother. I was almost in tears at times.”
Multiple law enforcement agencies kept watch at both churches and they encouraged anyone who came to bring as little as possible.
Meanwhile, everyone left with a momento featuring Mrs. Bush’s photo.
“I’m glad I had the chance to be a part of this wonderful opportunity to say goodbye to a beautiful lady,” said Dorothy Henson.
We were told metal detectors being used could handle 2,000 people an hour. The line was moving steadily by early Friday afternoon.
KHOU 11 viewers on Facebook shared their admiration for President Bush and Mrs. Bush, who died Tuesday at 92.
"This is so amazing! But yet typical of the family just such good down to earth people. One reason I love this family so much! What a legacy," said viewer Jo Anna Shaffer-Clark.
"A true testimony of love and devotion. What a role model for families everywhere; we should all pray for a love and marriage like that," said Timmy Stacey Domino.
"They were always there for each other. I think he still wants to be there for her. May you be at peace Mrs Bush and may the family find peace and comfort during this time," April Clemenza posted.