George H.W. Bush’s casket arrives at Capitol

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Washington, Dec 4 (IANS) The casket bearing the remains of former President George H.W. Bush arrived at the Capitol on Monday shortly after being transported to Andrews Air Base on the outskirts of Washington.

The public will be able to pay their respects to the late president in the coming days as his body lies in state in the Capitol Rotunda, Efe reported.

A few minutes before 5 p.m., the casket arrived at the Capitol, where it was received by a committee comprised of the leaders of the House of Representatives and the Senate, both Democrats and Republicans, and headed by Bush’s oldest son, former President George W. Bush.

The jet transporting the coffin landed shortly before 3:30 p.m. at Andrews, where it was received by air force and special forces personnel.

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At the Capitol, the remains of the 41st president will lie in state and the public may pay their respects from 7:30 p.m. on Monday until 7 a.m. on Wednesday, after which a formal funeral ceremony for the former US leader will be held in the nation’s capital.

Attending the funeral will be President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump, along with other former leaders and outstanding figures in US public life, including members of the Cabinet and the Supreme Court.

Afterwards, Bush’s coffin will be transported to Houston, where his family members will be able to say their last goodbyes before he is interred at his presidential library in College Station, Texas, where his wife Barbara, who died in April, is buried.

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On Thursday morning, a private funeral ceremony will be held at Houston’s St. Martin’s Episcopal Church, which Bush and his wife regularly attended.

The patriarch of the Bush family served as a fighter pilot during World War II, later being elected to Congress, serving as UN ambassador, CIA director, vice president under Ronald Reagan between 1981 and 1989 and finally being elected president and serving for one term from 1989-1993 during which time he presided over the end of the Cold War and launched the Gulf War to drive invading Iraqi forces under dictator Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait.

–IANS

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