Hundreds gathered for President George H.W. Bush’s state funeral at the Washington National Cathedral today.
The ceremony at the cathedral, the nexus of state funerals, capped three days of remembrance in the nation’s capitol by dignitaries and ordinary citizens as they honored the Republican president who oversaw the post-Cold War transition and led a successful Gulf War, only to lose re-election in a generational shift to Democrat Bill Clinton in 1992.
More than a dozen world leaders were in attendance, including Prince Charles and Angela Merkel.
After the state funeral, Bush’s casket was taken to Joint Base Andrews and returned home to Houston just before 5 p.m. Wednesday. Bush will be taken to St. Martin's Episcopal Church, where he’ll lie in repose from 6 tonight until 6 a.m. Thursday.
Bush will be buried at his family plot on the presidential library grounds at Texas A&M University in College Station on Thursday alongside Barbara Bush, his wife of 73 years who died in April, and Robin Bush, the daughter they lost to leukemia in 1953 at age 3.
Farewell, Mr. President
Thousands are expected to pay their respects to President George H.W. Bush until 6 a.m. Thursday as the president lies in repose at St. Martin's Episcopal Church.
12:30 a.m. Second Baptist is no longer at capacity and anyone who wishes to come pay their respects to President Bush is encouraged to do so.
9:48 p.m. Bush family spokesman Jim McGrath says approximately 5,000 people passed through Secret Service security checkpoint to pay their respects to President George H.W. Bush. He says wait times are now under an hour.
8:26 p.m. Houston Police say lines at Second Baptist Church are still "extremely long" and estimate a 2-hour wait time for shuttle buses to St. Martin's Episcopal Church.
8:16 p.m. The end of the line at Second Baptist Church is wrapped around the building as mourners wait for buses to St. Martin's Episcopal Church where they will pay their respects to President George H.W. Bush.
8:14 p.m. Some mourners shared the image of pamphlets they received after visiting St. Martin's Episcopal Church.
7:53 p.m. There are 1,270 people who have been on and off buses to see President George H.W. Bush at St. Martin's Episcopal Church and more than 6,000 people are in line at Second Baptist Church ready to board buses. At this time, it takes about 90 minutes from the back of the line to get to the front and on a bus.
7 p.m. Mourners begin to arrive at St. Martin's Episcopal Church where President George H.W. Bush lies in repose.
PHOTOS: Welcome home, President Bush
6:39 p.m. President George H.W. Bush lies in repose at St. Martin's.
6:27 p.m. The Houston Police Department reports that Second Baptist Church, where shuttles are running to take people wishing to offer condolences to the President, is currently at capacity. HPD recommends people to delay coming out. Shuttle buses are running until 5:30 a.m. Thursday.
6:21 p.m. President George H.W. Bush's motorcade arrives at St. Martin's.
People at Second Baptist Church are passing out condolence cards for President Bush.
Honoring George H.W. Bush in Houston
Here's what you need to know if you're wanting to pay your respects to President George H.W. Bush in Houston. Parking lots open at 1 p.m. at Second Baptist Church, located at 6400 Woodway Drive. Security checks begin at 4:45 p.m. and the shuttle service to St. Martin's Episcopal Church, where George H.W. Bush will lie in repose from 6 tonight until 6 a.m. Thursday.
No large bags or cameras are allowed.
George H.W. Bush returns to Houston
TRAFFIC ALERT: Street closures and security measures for President George H.W. Bush's service in Houston. Tap here to read more.
5:33 p.m. The motorcade carrying George H.W. Bush departs Ellington Field for St. Martin's Episcopal Church where he will lie in repose until 6 a.m. Thursday.
4:58 p.m. President George H.W. Bush lands in Houston on 'Special Air Mission 1'
Bush 41 and 'Special Air Mission 1' are about to land at Ellington Field from Joint Base Andrews.
Flying over Aggieland
4:20 p.m. 'Special Air Mission 41' carrying President George H.W. Bush flies over College Station en route to Ellington Field.
People in College Station are getting ready for 'Special Air Mission 41' to fly over Kyle Field and the heart of Aggieland around 4:20 p.m. before landing at Ellington Field around 5:05 p.m.
Gate 41 closed at Bush IAH
Gate 41 at IAH Terminal C is shut down to remember Houston’s president. (📸: Polly Bonilla and Jeremiah Morales)
Bush 41 supportings arriving early
A long line of mourners has already arrived at Second Baptist Church to pay their respects to George H.W. Bush. The president will lie in repose tonight at St. Martin's Episcopal Church from 6 tonight until 6 a.m. Thursday. Buses from Second Baptist will transport people from the church to St. Martin's.
Track 'Special Air Mission 41'
The 'Special Air Mission 41' will fly over the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library in College Station Wednesday afternoon.
The plane is expected to pass through College Station between 4:15 p.m. and 4:25 p.m. Wednesday. You can track the plane's flight path here.
George H.W. Bush’s final flight to Texas
1:26 p.m. 'Special Air Mission 41' departs from Joint Base Andrews in Maryland en route to Houston. Bush is expected to arrive in Houston at 5:05 p.m. Central time.
1:01 p.m. The president’s casket arrived at Joint Base Andrews, where 'Special Air Mission 41' will take Bush on his final flight to Texas.
Lighter moments of Bush 41's funeral
Grey Goose delivery
George W. Bush delivered a eulogy from the heart that was sprinkled with humorous anecdotes about his dad.
With a twinkle in his eye, 43 told about a special delivery for his father when he was in the hospital years ago.
"In his 90s, he took great delight when his closest pal, James A. Baker, smuggled a bottle of Grey Goose vodka into his hospital room. Apparently,it paired well with the steak he had delivered from Morton's," the 43rd president said.
Sully in the spotlight
Rev. Russell Levenson of St. Martin's Episcopal Church in Houston drew laughter when he joked that Sully, Bush 41's service dog, "has gotten more press than the president in recent days."
Rev. Levenson also mentioned how former first lady Barbara Bush, who passed away in April, sometimes reminded him that his sermons would go on just a bit too long.
George H.W. Bush's casket carried out of National Cathedral
12:11 p.m. George H.W. Bush's casket is carried out of the National Cathedral to a motorcade that will take him to Joint Base Andrews, where he will then fly back home to Houston. The president will then lie in repose at St. Martin's Episcopal Church until 6 a.m. Thursday.
An emotional eulogy by George W. Bush
11:20 a.m. In his eulogy, George W. Bush, the oldest son of George H.W. Bush, remembered his father as a man who believed in the importance of public service, a loving family man and a man who always looked for the best in people.
George W. Bush recited a quote,"Die young, as late as possible," before sharing stories of his father later in life. At 85, George W. Bush said, his father took his 300-horsepower boat out in the open Atlantic as the Secret Service boats struggled to keep up behind.
At 90, George H.W. Bush went parachuting. And in his 90s, George W. Bush said, his father's closest friend, James Baker, snuck in a bottle of vodka into his hospital room to go with his dinner.
George W. Bush remembered his father as a man who loved to laugh, especially at himself, "and placed great value in a great joke."
Before his father died, George W. Bush remembered calling his dad and telling him, "I love you. You've been a wonderful father." To which his father replied, I love you, too.
"Those were the last words he spoke on earth," George W. Bush said.
"We're going to miss you. Your decency, sincerity, and kind soul will stay with us forever," George W. Bush said. "So through our tears let us know the blessings of knowing and loving you, a great and noble man. The best father a son or daughter could have." Bush stopped for a minute, fighting back tears. "And in our grief, let us smile knowing that Dad is hugging Robin and holding Mom's hand again."
Remembering George H.W. Bush
11:12 a.m. Former Senator Alan K. Simpson, a friend of George H.W. Bush, said "the most decent and honorable person I ever met was George Bush." Simpson said Bush loved jokes, but could never remember a punchline. The punchline for Bush, Simpson said, is "you would have wanted him on your side. He never lost his sense of humor. Humor is the universal solvent of the abrasive elements of life. He never hated anyone. He knew what his mother and my mother always knew: hatred corrodes the container it's carried in."
10:55 a.m. Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney said of George H.W. Bush, "I believe it will be said that no occupant of the Oval Office was more courageous, more principled and more honorable than George Herbert Walker Bush."
10:35 a.m. Jon Meacham, George H.W. Bush’s biographer, said Bush’s life code was to “tell the truth, don’t blame people, be strong, do your best, try hard, forgive, and stay the course. And that was and is the most American of creeds.”
"To him, his life was no longer his own. There were always more missions to undertake, more lives to touch and more live to give," Meacham said.
Members of the Harris County District Attorney's Office are wearing their unique socks today in honor of George H.W. Bush.
10:17 a.m. President George H.W. Bush's casket is carried into the National Cathedral as the state funeral begins.
10:14 a.m. George H.W. Bush sneaks another piece of candy to former First Lady Michelle Obama. During John McCain's funeral in September, George Bush was caught on camera handing Michelle Obama an Altoid.
10:13 a.m. President George W. Bush, son of George H.W. Bush, arrives at the National Cathedral for his father's funeral with his wife, former First Lady Laura Bush, by his side.
9:56 a.m. - President George H.W. Bush's casket arrives at the National Cathedral.
9:48 a.m. - President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump arrive at the state funeral.
9:33 a.m. - President George H.W. Bush's casket departs the Capitol Rotunda for the National Cathedral.
Tap here to watch the emotional sendoff as the casket carrying George H.W. Bush departs U.S. Capitol
8:50 a.m. - Guests begin arriving at the National Cathedral for President George H.W. Bush's funeral.