The nation honors President George H.W. Bush
House Speaker Paul Ryan, describing how George H.W. Bush "personified grace," spoke of a photo he will always remember -- it shows the older Bush holding his son President George W. Bush's hand at the service for America's National Day of Prayer and Remembrance on Sept. 14, 2001, just days after the Sept. 11 terror attacks.
"This one I will never forget," Ryan said, describing it as an image revealing "a loving father reaching out to hold his son's hand."
Watch the moment:
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan praised former President George H.W. Bush as "a great leader and a good man."
Bush's 1988 presidential campaign was the first Ryan had ever been involved in, he said.
"He was the first president I had the chance to vote for. And he was the first president to teach me and many of us that in a democracy, sometimes you fall short. And that how you handle that — that is just as important as how you win," Ryan said, speaking after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Bush was not only a good leader, but a good father and husband, demonstrating "the finest qualities of our nation and of humankind," Ryan said.
"He reached the heights of power with uncommon humility. He made monumental contributions to freedom with a fundamental decency that resonates across generations. No one better harmonized the joy of life and the duty of life... God bless the 41st president of the United States," he said.
Hear the opening of Ryan's speech:
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell honored President George H.W. Bush in remarks at a ceremony at the US Capitol this afternoon, citing Bush's "steady hand" that kept America on course for decades -- first as an aviator, then a congressman, ambassador, envoy to China, CIA director, vice president and commander-in-chief.
Here's what he said:
"Through the Cold War and the Soviet Union's collapse, he kept us on course. When the rule of law needed defending in the Persian Gulf, he kept us on course."
"With his even temperament and hard-won expertise, George Herbert Walker Bush steered this country as straight as he steered that airplane. He kept us flying high and challenged us to fly higher still. And he did it with modesty and kindness that would have been surprising in someone one tenth as tough and accomplished as he was."
Hear McConnell's opening remarks:
Former President George H.W. Bush's ceremony at the US Capitol is officially underway.
After the casket was placed on the catafalque, House Chaplain Rev. Patrick Conroy opened the ceremony with a prayer that honored Bush's public service in the military, Congress and White House.
"Let us pray. We give you thanks, almighty god, for the appearance among us of great men and women who serve as inspirations for all Americans to be their best in service, to God, country and neighbor. This day, we honor our 41st president, George H.W. Bush. President Bush dedicated his entire life to public service as a vocation, first in the military, then as a member of Congress, a diplomat, director of the CIA, vice president and finally, president. It is a record of service reminiscent of John Quincy Adams, an unmatched in nearly a century. We thank you, oh, God, for having endowed President Bush with noblesse oblige, and ask that his example of service to others might be an inspiration to all Americans, indeed to all the world. As we continue this celebration of honor, grant that all who attend to these proceedings might be desirous of being our best selves in service to all our brothers and sisters as you might call us to be. Dear Lord, thank you for inspiring such greatness in President George H.W. Bush, and continue to bless the United States of America. Amen."
Watch it here:
All sitting US Supreme Court justices are expected to attend the arrival ceremony at the US Capitol for President George H.W. Bush — except for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the court's spokesperson said.
Ginsburg, still recovering from fractured ribs, is expected to be on the bench tomorrow for oral arguments, according to a court spokeswoman. Ginsburg heard arguments this morning.
The hearse carrying former President George H.W. Bush's casket has arrived at the East Front of the US Capitol.
Members of the Bush family and the former president's Cabinet were standing outside the Capitol to receive the casket and to lead it the Rotunda.
As per tradition, Bush will lie in state in the Rotunda until Wednesday morning. The public can pay their respects to the 41st president from 7:30 p.m. ET Monday to 8:45 a.m. ET Wednesday.
A Republican official tells CNN that congressional authorities intend to keep the public viewing in the Rotunda open all night in order to allow the crowds to pay their respects.
Watch the arrival of the hearse:
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell paid tribute to former President George H.W. Bush on the Senate floor Monday afternoon, praising his military service and wartime presidential leadership.
"He aspired to govern his country well, preserve what was good, and improve things where possible. He wanted to keep us flying high and challenge us to fly a little higher. And he led us as he seemingly did everything in his life, with grace and kindness that seemed almost unbelievable, given all that he’d accomplished," McConnell said.
The Kentucky Republican also spoke of Bush's role as a husband and father to "a family of leaders whose contributions have enriched this country even more."
"A quarter-century after George Bush left the Oval Office, his legacy continues to directly inspire not just ‘a thousand points of light,’ but millions of volunteers who serve others," McConnell said.