4 former presidents among hundreds at Barbara Bush's funeral

Adjust Comment Print

Interested in Barbara Bush?

Some 1,500 guests, including former presidents and first ladies, filled St. Martin's Episcopal Church in Houston on Saturday morning for the funeral service.

Thousands of people on Friday paid respects to Bush, who died Tuesday at her Houston home at age 92.

St. Martin's Episcopal Church is the the nation's largest Episcopal church. The service begins at 11 a.m. central time and is expected to least about 90 minutes.

After seeing how many people had lined up to pay their respects to his wife, former President George H.W. Bush made a decision to attend - he sat at the front of the church in a wheelchair, offering his hand and smiled as people shook it, for about 15 minutes.

Former president Barack Obama did not attend Nancy Reagan's funeral in 2016 or Betty Ford's in 2011, and Bill Clinton did not attend the funeral of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. The Clintons' daughter, Chelsea Clinton, is also in attendance. Burial will follow at the Bush Library at Texas A&M University, about 100 miles (161 kilometers) northwest of Houston.

- "With faith in Jesus Christ, we receive the body of our sister Barbara Pierce Bush for burial".

Attendees arrive at St. Martin's Episcopal Church for funeral services for former first lady Barbara Bush, in Houston, April 21, 2018.

First lady Melania Trump will be at the service, but the White House said this week that President Donald Trump wouldn't attend "to avoid disruptions due to added security, and out of respect for the Bush Family and friends attending the service".

In a Twitter post, Trump said his "thoughts and prayers are with the entire Bush family".

Numerous women who came to pay their respects wore Barbara Bush's favorite color, blue, and strands of pearls in tribute to Mrs. Robin died of leukemia in 1953, just before her fourth birthday.

Trump has offered his condolences to the Bush family, calling Barbara Bush 'a titan in American life'.

Barbara Bush served as first lady from 1989 to 1993.

High-ranking officials from the elder Bush's administration, including former Vice President Dan Quayle and Dick Cheney, who served as defense secretary before later becoming George W. Bush's vice president, will also be among the mourners.

"He held her hand all day today and was at her side when she left this good earth", Becker said in a statement.

However, Melania was confirmed to attend earlier this week on her own regardless, expressing her own desire to pay her respects.

President George H.W. Bush raises his right hand as he is sworn into office as the 41st president of the United States by Chief Justice William Rehnquist outside the west front of the Capitol on January 20, 1989.

"Whether you're Democrat or whether you're Republican, whether you're young or old, she is the matriarch of America", said 52-year-old Houston resident Jamie Sumicek.