Remembering George H. W. Bush


Cameron Pollack/NPR

Former President George HW Bush’s state funeral took place on Wednesday, Dec. 5. (Cameron Pollack for NPR).

Jake Bednarski, Contributing Writer

Last Wednesday, the United States observed the death of one of its former presidents, President George H.W. Bush. President Bush took the oval office on January 20, 1989, and left on January 20, 1993. He died on November 30, and his ceremony was on December 5, but his legacy will extend on forever. He was born nearby in Milton, Massachusetts, but went on to call Texas his home, which is also where he is now buried.

His funeral on Wednesday, hosted in St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Houston, was attended by the three living former presidents, the current president, and many other important people. The speakers of the funeral were his son, former President Bush, former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, former Sen. Alan Simpson (R-WY), and Jon Meacham, who wrote a biography on the late President Bush. Meacham’s special relationship with the former president is very resemblant of his personality; When Bush heard about how Meacham was writing a book about him, Bush took the time to create a relationship not usually seen between historian and historical figure. Bush took Meacham on boat rides and even shared his personal diaries with him. Meacham had high praise for the former President, describing, “America’s last great soldier-statesman, a 20th-century founding father. He governed with virtues that most closely resemble those of Washington and of Adams, of TR and of FDR, of Truman and of Eisenhower, of men who believed in causes larger than themselves.”

Former President Bush achieved many goals during his presidency. He had a very strong foreign outreach, which was very important during the time he served his term. The fall of the Soviet Union was well handled by Bush, evidenced by actions such as reaching out to Mikhail Gorbachev to control the collapse. Although many complications were happening in the world at that time, Bush handled them with expertise and skill. His domestic policies were strong as well, most notably his role in amending the Clean Air Act.

Former President George H.W. Bush will be severely missed by both parties and all former presidents, including President Obama, who said, “(He was a) humble servant…public service is a noble, joyous calling.” 

But this one line by Meacham summarizes it all: “He was a lion who not only led us, but who loved us.”