Houston: Thousands of mourners lined up to pay their final respects to former US first lady Barbara Bush who passed away this week.
A string of mourners, adults and children were surprisingly greeted by former US President George H W Bush at the public viewing of his wife of 73 years.
Bush sat at the front of the cavernous sanctuary of St Martin’s Episcopal Church along with his daughter Doro gazing up at the rose-draped casket holding his wife.
Bush greeted mourners, many of whom were wearing his wife’s favorite color, blue and trademark pearls. He also offered his hand and smiled as people shook it.
Bush died on Tuesday at her Houston home. She was 92.
Barbara and George Bush were married longer than any other presidential couple. One of just two first ladies to have a child elected president, Barbara Bush was widely admired for her plainspoken style and her advocacy for causes including literacy and AIDS awareness.
Republican Senator John Cornyn, Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo and Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee were among those who have been to St. Martin’s Episcopal
Church as Mrs. Bush is lying in repose. The public viewing came three days after Barbara Bush died at her Houston home at age 92, her husband George H W Bush by her side. She died of complications from congestive heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, having announced days earlier that she would forgo additional medical treatment to focus on comfort care.
As first lady, Bush was also immensely relatable. Though her husband George H W Bush may have led the country, she somehow through her charm and bluntness and genuine nature appeared to the nation as a mother, or grandmother, rather than another politician.
The Houston Police Department is ramping up security this weekend as dignitaries make their way to Houston to attend services for the late former first lady. Notable attendees will include first lady Melania Trump, former president and first lady Barack and Michelle Obama and former president and first lady Bill and Hillary Clinton.