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James Baker: George H.W. Bush embodied the 'Greatest Generation'

James Baker: George H.W. Bush embodied the 'Greatest Generation'

Last salute for George H.W. Bush at state funeral in Washington D.C.

The former head of state will lie in repose at St Martin's Episcopal Church, where the Bushes worshipped for decades, until Thursday's funeral.

None of the president's eulogizers - not Mulroney, nor presidential historian Jon Meacham, nor former Republican senator Alan Simpson, nor Bush's own son and eventual successor in the White House, George W. Bush - made any overt comparisons to Trump.

George P. Bush, the former president's grandson and the only member of the political dynasty still holding elected office, as Texas land commissioner, subsequently struck a more personal tone in his eulogy of the man he and the younger generations called "gampy".

"My siblings and I refer to the guys in this group as 'brothers from other mothers, '" said Bush, eliciting laughs from the audience, including Bill and Hillary Clinton.

The country's five living presidents - Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, Bush's son George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Trump - were attending the service at Washington National Cathedral, the Neo-Gothic spiritual centerpoint of the United States capital. What a great life he had. Mulroney said that was how Bush felt about his life after the presidency.

Bush delivered the eulogy at his father's funeral service at the Washington National Cathedral.

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His eulogists each captured the successive roles Bush played in his lifetime: World War II flyboy, statesman, friend and father. "But when Donald Trump sat down, the greeting that he was given by Barack Obama and Michelle Obama was about as cool as it could have been".

Trump has had a particularly acrimonious relationship with the Bush family, criticising George H.W. Bush and his sons. In place of most Washington dignitaries were top Houston athletes including the NFL Texans' defensive end J.J. Watt - displaying Bush's love for sports - and Chuck Norris, who played TV's "Walker, Texas Ranger". Trump did not shake hands with Bill and Hillary Clinton, who looked straight ahead.

The funeral was the first time that Hillary Clinton and Trump have been together since his inauguration previous year following their bitter presidential campaign.

At a ceremony full of pomp but also peppered with laughter, the capital's current political feuds were briefly set aside in honor of the late president, a naval aviator who survived being shot down by Japanese forces over the Pacific Ocean in World War Two, and a former head of the Central Intelligence Agency during the Cold War. "I don't think anybody behaved badly", he said, recalling the bitter 2016 campaign between the two.

There will be a public viewing on Wednesday night at the Houston church where Bush and his late wife, Barbara Bush, were longtime worshippers.

"After Mrs. Bush's death, general companionship was a big part of Sully's job", John Miller, president and CEO of America's VetDogs, said in a phone interview.

The late Bush's feelings about Trump were harsh at times.

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