The nation honors President George H.W. Bush
In the cavernous sanctuary of the National Cathedral on Wednesday, President Trump will come face-to-face for the first time with his four living predecessors, an encounter occasioned only by a loss to the most exclusive club in American politics -- indeed, in the world.
Trump's election, which came after he demeaned and humiliated the family members of three ex-presidents and made racist insinuations about his predecessor, has shaken the traditional fraternity of past and current commanders in chief.
He has, until now, avoided any encounters with the collected group, and hasn't spoken at all with three of them. He has neither consulted them on issues nor avoided overt criticism of their presidencies, breaking tradition on matters large and small.
For the time he is inside the Cathedral on Wednesday morning, those hurtful slights are likely to remain unmentioned. But few believe the death of President George H.W. Bush will lead to new camaraderie between Trump and the men who served before him.
The presidents club, by nature, is complicated by past rivalries and future legacies. Yet regardless of party, the members -- so far, all men -- are bound by their singular experience of serving in the Oval Office.
It's impossible to know, at this stage of his presidency, what Trump's ultimate role in the club will be. But he enters the group carrying a long record of dismissive, vitriolic criticism extending well beyond partisan politics.
Keep reading CNN's Kevin Liptak and Jeff Zeleny on this most exclusive club of competitors
Former President George H.W. Bush has been lying in state at the US Capitol since Monday. His casket is now being taken to the Washington National Cathedral for an 11 a.m. ET funeral.
Bush's casket was taken out of the Capitol's Rotunda this morning as "Hail to the Chief" played. A 21-gun salute with cannons also honored the late President.
Bush's family — including his son former President George W. Bush — solemnly looked on as the casket was led down the Capitol steps and placed into a hearse.
Watch the moment:
Former President George H.W. Bush's funeral at Washington National Cathedral is set to begin at 11 a.m. ET, after an hour of arrivals and a 21-gun salute with cannons.
There will be four eulogies, two readings and plenty of music.
Here's the full program:
- Organ prelude by George Fergus, an organist with Washington National Cathedral
- A musical prelude including pieces from the Armed Forces Chorus and the United States Marine Orchestra
- Musical honors, including "Hail to the Chief," by the United States Coast Guard Band
- The reception of the body
- The cathedral choir performs “My House Shall be Called a House of Prayer"
- The anthems in procession with Rev. Russell Levenson, Jr., with St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Houston, Texas
- Hymn: “Praise, My Soul, the King of Heaven”
- The collect for burial, with Rev. Randolph Marshall Hollerith, with the Washington National Cathedral
- A reading from Lauren Bush Lauren and Ashley Walker Bush
- A eulogy from Jon Meacham, a presidential historian
- The cathedral choir performs “The King of Love My Shepherd Is"
- A reading from Jenna Bush Hager
- A eulogy from former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney
- A eulogy from former Sen. Alan K. Simpson
- Ronan Tynan, the Armed Forces Chorus and the United States Marine Orchestra perform “Last Full Measure of Devotion"
- A eulogy from former President George W. Bush
- The Armed Forces Chorus and the United States Marine Orchestra perform “O God, Our Help in Ages Past"
There's about 3,000 people inside Washington National Cathedral ahead of the state funeral for former President George H.W. Bush, a spokesman for the cathedral said.
The service is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. ET. It will include four eulogies — including one from Bush's son former President George W. Bush — readings and choir performances.
Former President George H.W. Bush's state funeral will be held today at the Washington National Cathedral.
Bush has been lying in state at the US Capitol building. A departure ceremony is scheduled to take place at 10 a.m. ET, and a motorcade will travel through northwest Washington to the National Cathedral.
The invitation-only service at the cathedral is set to begin at 11 a.m. ET. Those close the President will deliver eulogies at the service. They are...
- Former President George W. Bush
- Former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney
- Former US Sen. Alan Simpson
- Presidential historian Jon Meacham, the late President's biographer
After the service, another departure ceremony is scheduled to take place at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland at 1:15 p.m. ET.
Former President George H.W. Bush was briefed 2011 about his eventual state funeral and the process of lying in state, Jim McGrath, Bush's spokesman, said.
The former President's response was full of humility: "Do you think anyone will come?"
Bush has been lying in state at the US Capitol since Monday. Members of the public lined up for hours to pay their respects to the former President.
A reporter for CNN affiliate WJLA tweeted video showing the massive line:
President Trump, every living former president and more than a dozen former and current world leaders will all be at his state funeral.
President Trump tweeted ahead of George H.W. Bush's state funeral this morning that he was looking forward to spending time with the Bushes, and proclaimed today to be a "celebration for a great man."
His tweet continues the gracious and reverent demeanor that the President's shown all week, which included traveling late Monday to view Bush's casket lying in state in the Capitol Rotunda and paying a call to Blair House, where the Bush family is staying, on Tuesday.
Tensions between Trump and the Bush family largely dissipated after Barbara Bush died earlier this year, when the Bush family reached out to the White House to inform Trump the state funeral for Bush would be different than hers (the President was not invited). The former president wanted the current occupant of the office to attend, two people familiar with the conversations said.
It was less of an olive branch than a sign of the former president's penchant for protocol, a Bush family friend said. The decision also meant that the week of Bush's death would be devoted to a celebration of his life and service, not a messy public feud with Trump.
US financial markets are due to close on Wednesday a national day of mourning as former President George H.W. Bush's funeral goes on in Washington, DC. The New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq will both suspend trading for the day.
The US Postal Service will also "suspend regular mail deliveries, retail services and administrative office activity."
President Trump issued an executive order closing the federal government in honor of former President George H.W. Bush's passing.
A memorandum from the Office of Personnel Management on Sunday outlined how federal agencies would implement the holiday.
Former President George H.W. Bush will be honored with a state funeral in Washington, DC, Wednesday.
Both President Trump and first lady Melania Trump will attend the service at Washington National Cathedral, the White House said.
These former presidents and first ladies are also expected to attend:
- Former President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama
- Former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
- Former President Jimmy Carter and first lady Rosalynn Carter
And these world leaders will also be there:
- King Abdullah II and Queen Rania of Jordan
- Australian Governor General Peter Cosgrove and Lynne Cosgrove
- Polish President Andrzej Duda
- Former Polish President Lech Walesa
- German Chancellor Angela Merkel
- Charles, Prince of Wales
- Former Mexican President Carlos Salinas
- Former UK Prime Minister John Major and Norma Major
- Abdulla bin Hamad Al Khalifa, prince of Bahrain and personal representative of the king of Bahrain
- Former Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda
- Former Emir of Qatar Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani
- Former Portuguese President Anibal Vaco Silva
- Former Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves
- Former Kuwaiti Prime Minister Nasser al-Mohammed al-Ahmed al-Sabah
- Former Premier of Bermuda John Swan