George HW Bush funeral: World figures pay respect

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Media caption,

Highlights from an emotional state funeral for former President George HW Bush

An emotional George W Bush has paid tribute to his father, former President George HW Bush, during a state funeral in Washington.

Mr Bush Jr, himself a former president, described him as "a noble man, the best father".

All surviving US presidents attended the funeral, sharing a pew in the US National Cathedral in Washington DC.

Mr Bush senior, who served as the 41st US president between 1989 and 1993, died on Friday at the age of 94.

He will be buried in his home state of Texas, alongside his wife Barbara.

In his eulogy, George W Bush said his father had taught him that "public service is noble and necessary".

"He accepted failure is part of living a full life, but taught us never to be defined by failure. He showed us how setbacks can strengthen," he added.

His voice breaking with emotion at the end of his eulogy, Mr Bush said: "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."

Image source, Reuters
Image caption,
The Trumps, Obamas, Clintons and Carters all attended

What happened at the funeral?

The invitation-only funeral at the National Cathedral was attended by President Donald Trump and his predecessors Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter.

The Prince of Wales, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Jordan's King Abdullah II were among the world figures there to pay their respects.

Former leaders, including John Major, who was UK prime minister for most of Mr Bush's term, also attended.

Wednesday has been declared a national day of mourning - many government offices and US stock exchanges are closed.

Following the funeral service, Mr Bush's flag-draped casket was carried from the cathedral by a military honour guard and was later flown to Texas, arriving in Houston at 23:00 GMT.

The casket will lie in public repose at St Martin's Episcopal Church until Thursday morning.

Image source, AFP

There will be a second service before the Bush 4141 - a train which was named in honour of the president - takes his body to its final resting place, next to his wife Barbara at the George HW Bush presidential library.

Jim McGrath, who was Mr Bush's spokesman, said the president had once wondered if anyone would attend his funeral.

What other tributes were paid?

Presidential historian Jon Meacham described Mr Bush Sr as "America's last great soldier statesman", recounting how he had served as a US Navy pilot in World War Two and survived after his plane was shot down over the Pacific.

"His life was a perennial effort to prove himself worthy of his salvation on that distant morning," he said.

Former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney praised Mr Bush Sr's role in navigating the end of the Cold War.

"When George Bush was president of the United States of America, every single head of government in the world knew that they were dealing with a gentleman, a genuine leader, one who was distinguished, resolute and brave," he said.

Former Wyoming Senator Alan Simpson said Mr Bush had a simple credo: "What would we do without family and friends?"

Who was Bush Sr and what is his legacy?

George HW Bush was a decorated fighter pilot in World War Two, a head of the CIA and vice-president to Ronald Reagan before being elected president in 1988.

His time in office was dominated by foreign policy - and he was praised for how he navigated the end of the Cold War, and handled the first Gulf War.

Media caption,

A look back at the life of George Bush Senior

However, he was accused of neglecting domestic affairs and, after reneging on a campaign promise not to increase taxes, lost to Bill Clinton in the 1992 presidential election.

He has been described as a bipartisan figure who tried to make conservatism "kinder and gentler".

Mr Trump has in the past clashed with the Bush family - and Mr Bush told a historian he voted for Mr Trump's opponent Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election.

Mr Bush's former White House press secretary, Marlin Fitzwater, told Reuters: "It's important for our presidents to pay respect to each other and I'm glad President Trump will be there."

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