COLLEGE STATION, Texas - From excited to nervous, surreal to somber, the emotions and mood along George Bush Drive in College Station shifted as the funeral procession for Barbara Bush inched closer to the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library.

The Library is just a few miles, at most, from Texas A&M's Kyle Field. And in those street blocks, hundreds of people lined sidewalks, stood on truck beds and poked their heads into the streets.

All eyes shot towards the intersection of Texas and Bush Drive.

Texas A&M Cadets salute the hearse carrying former First Lady Barbara Bush in College Station on Saturday.
Melissa Correa, KHOU

The direction the procession would come from as it made an hour-and-a-half drive from St. Martin's Episcopal Church in west Houston to College Station.

Texas A&M is known for it's 12th man mentality. Eleven players are on the field during football games, the 12th player, or man, is personified by the crowd, the fans in the stands.

On Saturday, in the hours ahead of Mrs. Bush's funeral procession, mourners considered themselves the 12th man, as they showed up to support the woman who has given so much to the United States of America.

"We wanted to be as close as possible to her," said Amy Davis in a Houston Astros jersey. Davis and her family drove from Houston to College Station.

The Davis' SUV was packed with white balloons strung together, "made a string of pearls. I don’t have a pair. But we made a string to honor her."

Davis spent the week honoring Barbara Bush. "We actually went to her viewing yesterday. And I caught the little flyer that they were passing out," said Davis as she spoke of the learning lesson for her four-year old son Julian. "I’m going to save it for him when he’s old enough to understand. And hopefully he’ll appreciate it, that he was a part of history."

Jerry Guidry wore a Texas A&M cap to protect his face from the intermittent rain that fell Saturday afternoon.

"The family has given a lot," said Guidry. "So this is a very small way where we can come back and maybe honor them by way of being out here."

And, in a matter of minutes, as a police escort crept through the quiet street, cellphones recorded the goodbye to the woman who loved College Station so much.

"What a life! And to see George! I could see him with his face pressed up against the window. You just want to reach out and say 'I love you,'" said Mia Villarreal. "This is his beloved Texas A&M. And you see in our background. Home of the 12th man. He’s our 12th man and Barbara has now gone to be with God as his 12th man."


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