The ceremony for the late president began at the Capitol as the sun set. A military guard carried his American-flag-draped casket into the Rotunda, where current and former lawmakers, Cabinet officials, Supreme Court justices, and his family stood waiting.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell delivered the opening eulogy for George Herbert Walker Bush, the 41st president of the United States, three days after he had died at his home in Houston. “We stand with you in mourning, but also in gratitude,” McConnell said. “Gratitude for lives well lived and duties thoroughly fulfilled. Gratitude that God gave this country George and Barbara Bush, and that they may now be reunited in the light of His grace.”
House Speaker Paul Ryan echoed the theme of grace. Grace “is the stuff of life—the connective tissue in a free society. It deepens the well of our common humanity,” Ryan said. “Throughout his life of service, President Bush personified grace. His character was second to none.”
President Donald Trump surprised many on Capitol Hill when he reserved only kind thoughts for Bush, who died at 94.
Trump had vented his frustrations earlier in the day in tweets about his erstwhile personal attorney, Michael Cohen, who has now turned against him, and Special Counsel Robert Mueller, the man leading the probe into Trump’s 2016 campaign and possible collusion with Russia. Cohen was up to “TERRIBLE” things, Trump tweeted, and Mueller was “a much different man than people think.” He accused the former FBI director and “his out of control band of Angry Democrats” of preferring “lies” to “truth.”