Americans from all walks of life come to Capitol to honor President George H.W. Bush

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12/5/2021 9:18:00 PM

On Dec. 4, 2018, Bob Dole paid his respects to former Pres. George H.W. Bush at the Capitol Rotunda, helped from his wheelchair to stand before the 41st president's casket.

Bush family greets mourners at the Capitol Rotunda as George H.W. Bush lies in stateThe family stopped by Tuesday night as visitors continued to pay their respects to the former president.Morry Gash/Pool via The New York TimesAs a military honor guard stood silent watch, thousands reverently filed through the U.S. Capitol Rotunda Tuesday to pay their respects to former President George H.W. Bush as he lay in state ahead of his state funeral Wednesday morning.

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Since Monday evening and all through the night -- with only the sounds of footsteps echoing in the historic chamber --have come to honor the nation's 41st president, from parents with young children to the former top commanders of Operation Desert Storm -- the Bush-led liberation of Kuwait from Saddam Hussein's Iraq.

Alex Edelman/AFP/Getty ImagesPeople gather in the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol to pay respects to former U.S. President George H.W. Bush, as the remains of the former president lie in state in Washington, D.C., Dec. 4, 2018.In between citizens who paused to gaze and pray, some in tears, before the former president’s flag-draped casket, dignitaries and former government leaders also paid somber tribute.

Alex Edelman/AFP/Getty ImagesPeople gather in the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol to pay respects to former U.S. President George H.W. Bush, as the remains of the former president lie in state in Washington, D.C., Dec. 4, 2018.In an especially dramatic moment Tuesday afternoon, former Republican Sen. Bob Dole, 95 years old and in failing health, rose from his wheelchair with the help of an aide used his only good arm -- his left one -- to salute his fellow WWII veteran.

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Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty ImagesFormer U.S. Senator Bob Dole salutes before the flag-draped coffin of former U.S. President George H. W. Bush at the U.S. Capitol rotunda in Washington, D.C., Dec. 4, 2018.Retired Gen. Colin Powell, who served as Bush’s chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the first Gulf War, joined a group of his fellow military leaders saluting their former commander-in-chief.

Manuel Balce Ceneta/APSully, former President George H.W. Bush's service dog, pays his respect to President Bush as he lies in state at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Dec. 4, 2018.Shortly afterward, Sully, Bush’s service dog during his final months in a wheelchair, was brought in to say a final goodbye, sitting quietly in front of the casket before being led out to eventually begin his new mission serving wounded troops at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. The golden lab appeared symbolically with beneficiaries of the Americans with Disabilities Act, one of the most enduring pieces of legislation signed by the late president.

Manuel Balce Ceneta/APCIA Director Gina Haspel together with former CIA Directors, from left, William Webster, George Tenet, John Brennan, Haspel, Porter Goss and James Woolsey, pay their last respect to former President George H.W. Bush as he lies in state at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Dec. 4, 2018.

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Current CIA director Gina Haspel also made a symbolic visit to the Rotunda with former CIA directors, including John Brennan, just hours before she would go to Capitol Hill to brief senators on the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi as they weigh their next steps in possibly punishing Saudi Arabia over the slaying.

President Trump and first lady Melania Trumpto pay their respects Monday evening. The president saluted the casket as his wife looked on.The Bush family returned to the Rotunda Tuesday evening, shaking hands and hugging close family and friends.Yuri Gripas/Reuters

Former President George W. Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush stand at the flag-draped casket of former U.S. President George H.W. Bush as it lies in state inside the U.S. Capitol Rotunda in Washington, Dec. 4, 2018.As the nation mourns the former president -- from his Washington funeral to his burial in Houston in this week of tributes -- here is what you need to know about the memorials ahead:

TuesdayBefore George H.W. Bush’s body is laid to rest at his presidential library and museum at Texas A&M University in College Station on Thursday, the former president’s casket will remain on view at the Capitol Rotunda until 7 a.m. Wednesday morning.

Bush’s personaldetail, whose members who grew close to Bush over the years, were expected to visit the Capitol Rotunda.WednesdayOn Wednesday at 10 a.m., a departure ceremony from the Capitol to the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., begins.The Bush funeral procession includes the country’s highest honor, a 21-gun salute made with cannons positioned at Truman Park.

The ceremony will start with a presentation of arms and the playing of “Hail to the Chief.” The casket of the president, one of the last of the World War II generation and who helped steer the U.S. when the Cold War ended, will then be placed in a hearse to proceed to Washington National Cathedral.

During the state funeral, former PresidentGeorge W. Bush, Mr. Bush’s son, will deliver a eulogy, along with former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, former Wyoming GOP Sen. Alan Simpson, and historian Jon Meacham. Foreign leaders from around the world are expected to attend the service, including Britain's Prince Charles and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Despite his past feud with the Bush Family,President Trumphas announced that he will attend the funeral with first lady Melania Trump. But breaking with recent tradition, Trump is not slated to deliver a eulogy. All of the other living former presidents -- Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama -- are also expected to attend the funeral.

Following the state funeral, Bush's casket will be taken to Joint Base Andrews and flown back to Texas, where the Bush family will participate in an arrival ceremony at Ellington Field in Houston.Mr. Bush’s casket will be then be brought to St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Houston, Texas, where Bush will lie in repose until Thursday.

ThursdayA funeral service will be held at St. Martin’s at 11 a.m., after which the former president will be taken by train to the George HW Bush Presidential Library at Texas A&M University.The 41st president’s final resting place will be next to his wife of 73 years, Barbara.

Read more: ABC News »

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