HOUSTON, TX - FEBRUARY 05: President George H.W. Bush arrives for the coin toss prior to Super Bowl 51 between the Atlanta Falcons and the New England Patriots at NRG Stadium on February 5, 2017 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images
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HOUSTON, TX - FEBRUARY 05: President George H.W. Bush arrives for the coin toss prior to Super Bowl 51 between the Atlanta Falcons and the New England Patriots at NRG Stadium on February 5, 2017 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images
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George Herbert Walker Bush poses with his wife Barbara in Beijing in 1974.  Born 12 June 1924 in Milton, Massachussetts, George Bush Yale graduated with a degree in Economics in 1948, made a fortune drilling oil before entering politics in 1964. US Congressman from Texas (1966-1970), ambassador to the United nations (1971-1974), Special Envoy to China (1974-1975), Republican National Chairman (1975-1976), Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) director (1976-1977), vice president of the US (1981-1959) George Bush is eventually elected president of the US 08 November 1988 against Democratic nominee Michael Dukakis.  AFP PHOTO/WHITE HOUSE        (Photo credit should read /AFP/Getty Images)
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George Herbert Walker Bush poses with his wife Barbara in Beijing in 1974. Born 12 June 1924 in Milton, Massachussetts, George Bush Yale graduated with a degree in Economics in 1948, made a fortune drilling oil before entering politics in 1964. US Congressman from Texas (1966-1970), ambassador to the United nations (1971-1974), Special Envoy to China (1974-1975), Republican National Chairman (1975-1976), Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) director (1976-1977), vice president of the US (1981-1959) George Bush is eventually elected president of the US 08 November 1988 against Democratic nominee Michael Dukakis. AFP PHOTO/WHITE HOUSE (Photo credit should read /AFP/Getty Images)
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CNN Special Report “Remembering 41: President George H.W. Bush” airs tonight at 8 p.m. ET.

CNN —  

When former President George H.W. Bush’s family and friends shared the news of his death at the age of 94 on Friday, they used the code word “CAVU,” an acronym familiar to pilots that stands for “ceiling and visibility unlimited.”

CNN’s Jamie Gangel reported their use of the acronym on “CNN Tonight with Don Lemon” early Saturday morning, adding that Bush had a plaque in his office with the word.

“He always felt it represented his life,” Gangel said. “The sky was the limit, and he had everything.”

In a 2006 interview with CNN’s Larry King on “Larry King Live,” Bush, who flew combat missions in World War II, read part of a letter he wrote his five children before the start of the Gulf War in which he discussed the phrase.

“CAVU was the kind of weather we Navy pilots wanted when we were to fly off our carrier in the Pacific,” he said. “We had little navigational instrumentation, so we wanted to CAVU, ceiling and visibility unlimited, and because of the five of you whose hugs I can still feel, whose own lives made me so proud, I can confidently tell my guardian angel that my life is CAVU and it will be that way until I die. All because of you.”