Remembering George H.W. Bush

Former President George H.W. Bush, who died Friday at 94, less than eight months after his wife, is being lauded as an honorable and dedicated statesman.

“America is never wholly herself unless she is engaged in high moral principle. We as a people have such a purpose today. It is to make kinder the face of the nation and gentler the face of the world.” 

George H.W. Bush, Jan. 20, 1989

I was a senior in high school when George H.W. Bush — we just called him “George Bush” back then — came to my high school for a campaign rally. I thought it was odd that a presidential candidate would come to a high school, since only about a quarter of the students could possibly vote for him.

It had to be early in 1988, before Bush, then Ronald Reagan’s vice president, made the stop in his campaign to succeed Reagan.

Reagan had such a following back then that it was hard to imagine anyone following in those footsteps. 

Of course, as almost always happens when a notable person dies, a look back across time seems to reshape the overall judgment of a leader.

Tributes have been coming in from across the country and around the world for the elder Bush.

Former President Bill Clinton, who formed what some considered a very unlikely friendship after the two men were out of office, wrote about the handwritten note Bush left for him when Clinton took office and their bond over the years.

“You will be our President when you read this note. I wish you well. I wish your family well,” Bush wrote to Clinton. “Your success now is our country’s success. I am rooting hard for you.”

Such class seems almost impossible to imagine these days, but that letter wasn’t written all that long ago. 

“George H.W. Bush’s life is a testament to the notion that public service is a noble, joyous calling,” former President Barack Obama wrote, adding that Bush’s legacy of service “may never be matched, even though he’d want all of us to try.”

Even President Donald Trump extolled Bush’s virtues in a statement:

“Through his essential authenticity, disarming wit, and unwavering commitment to faith, family, and country, President Bush inspired generations of his fellow Americans to public service – to be, in his words, ‘a thousand points of light’ illuminating the greatness, hope, and opportunity of America to the world.”

Bush, who had the longest marriage of any president, died less than eight months after his wife of 73 years, Barbara.

Rest in peace, Mr. President and thank you. 

1 Comment

  1. I was not a big fan of Mr. Bush, not being a Republican, but after seeing his son, who it is incredibly difficult to contemplate as a blood relative, I realised the the senior Bush was very well-spoken and intelligent. Something I’d never have said about “W” as I call him.

    Forget the politics. It isn’t my forte, and I am not amused by politicians as a whole. But, rarely does a day go by that I burn them in effigy. However, even I can recognise the educated from the unbelievably ridiculous. George H. W. Bush was the former. His heir…yikes!

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Patrick is a Christian with more than 27 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.