Thousands gather to pay respects to George H.W. Bush

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Thousands traveled to the Capital Rotunda on Monday to honor George H.W. Bush. Photo courtesy of Meghan Sorensen.
Thousands traveled to the Capital Rotunda on Monday to honor George H.W. Bush. Photo courtesy of Meghan Sorensen.

By: Meghan Sorensen

On Monday, December 3, former President George H.W. Bush laid in the Capitol’s rotunda for a public viewing session. He passed away in his Houston home on November 30 at age 94, eight months after his wife Barbara passed.

At 8:30 p.m. on Monday, President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump visited to pay their respects. The public was encouraged to visit the rotunda to pay their respects until 8:45 Wednesday morning.

Beginning at 7:30 p.m. on Monday night, visitors arrived at the Capitol in droves. Hundreds of people braced the December cold and lined up before entering into the rotunda. Visitors of all ages attended, bringing their families and pushing elderly relatives in wheelchairs. All generations came out to take part in this historic and grave event. Warrington, Virginia mother Kristy Schnider chose to bring her two children.

“Anytime [there is a ] once-in-a-lifetime chance to be a part of something and to show [my children] that no matter who it is, that we pay our respects to people who have served our country, then we’re definitely going to take the opportunity to do that.” Schnider’s children eagerly exclaimed that they were happy to be there.

Bush’s funeral will take place on Wednesday, December 5, at the National Cathedral. He became the 12th United States President to lie in state in the Capitol Rotunda.

He served as a the vice president of the United States, Director of Central Intelligence, Chief of the U.S. Liaison Office to the People’s Republic of China, a U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, a Chairman of the RNC, and a member of the U.S. House of Representatives.

On Thursday, December 6, Bush’s body will be flown back to Texas for a personal funeral service at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church. Bush will be buried at his presidential library at Texas A&M University.