George H W Bush laid to rest

COLLEGE STATION, US: Former US president George H W Bush, remembered as much for his legacy of service as his impact on history, was buried on Thursday, capping days of tribute from a nation that briefly set aside political divisions to honour him.
After a state funeral on Wednesday in Washington that was attended by the country’s five living presidents and foreign dignitaries, Bush’s flag-draped casket was flown to Texas for a final farewell.
A compassionate national spotlight had shone on Bush’s passing and the memorial proceedings throughout this week.
But his burial at Bush’s presidential library centre in College Station, Texas — alongside Barbara, his wife of 73 years, and their daughter Robin who died of leukemia at age 3 — was a private family service.
“The 41st President of the United States of America, George Herbert Walker Bush, has reached his final resting place,” family spokesman Jim McGrath posted on Twitter.
Bush, who died on Friday at age 94, lay in repose at St Martin’s Episcopal Church in Houston, where he was eulogised at a final memorial service by close friend James Baker, who served as his secretary of state.
“His incredible service to our nation and the world are already etched in the marble of time,” Baker said, highlighting the sense of duty, service, and personal grace that drove Bush.
Fighting through tears, the 88-year-old Baker recalled how Bush’s deeds “expressed his moral character, and they reflected his decency, his boundless kindness and consideration of others, his determination always to do the right thing.”
Son George W Bush, the nation’s 43rd president, appeared somber at his wife Laura’s side, and stood ramrod straight as military pallbearers carried the casket from the Houston church to a waiting hearse.
It was then placed on a train — with a locomotive painted in the colours and pattern of Air Force One, the presidential jet — for the final journey to the presidential library, part of a precise series of ritualised events.
There were emotional displays along the route in towns like Spring, Magnolia, Navasota and College Station.
Crowds of people braved rainy weather to mass beside the tracks, where they held American flags, saluted, cheered and waved goodbye as the train rolled slowly past.
Bush was the 12th president to lie in state in the US Capitol rotunda.
Thousands paid respects there to a statesman who steered the nation through turbulent times including the end of the Cold War and the marshalling of an international coalition to oust invading Iraqi forces from Kuwait. — AFP