The nation said goodbye to former President George Herbert Walker Bush yesterday with a state funeral at the National Cathedral in Washington. Today, the city that Bush adopted as his hometown honors him with its own sendoff.
The service at St. Martin's starts at 10 o'clock with former Secretary of State James Baker, Bush’s close friend and who was in the room with him when he passed away on Friday, giving the eulogy. A big crowd is expected. Grandson Pierce tells KTRH his grandfather loved Houston as much as Houston loved him.
“This is a city that gives everybody a chance if they are willing to work hard and contribute. It was a city he was able to identify with,” Bush said.
We keep hearing stories about what 41 did for others while he was here; literally giving the shirt off his back to former Houston Police Officers Union President Ray Hunt at a golf tournament.
“He told me he’d be back in a few minutes. He came back wearing a different shirt. He had given me his shirt; it was truly the shirt off his back,” Hunt explained, adding that his cousin, former Senator John Tower, was Bush’s first Secretary of Defense nominee, and that even though he would not be confirmed, the President refused to pull the nomination.
Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo he learned more about 41 here than he had ever realized after having met him in California and in Austin.
“He was an iconic figure for us. I learned what he means to our city and how much he is going to be missed,” Acevedo stated.
After the service, Bush will be taken by train to College Station to be buried next to his wife Barbara at the Bush Library on the campus of Texas A&M.