Former President George W. Bush breaks down remembering his father and sister


Former President George H.W. Bush will be buried in College Station after a funeral service at the church he attended for many years and a special memorial train that will carry his casket.

A funeral for the former president was held at the St. Martin's Episcopal Church in Houston, Texas, on Thursday, featuring live performances from some of his favorite musical artists.

Celebrities, including actor-politician Arnold Schwarzenegger, were among the mourners at the church where the Bush family worships.

As Wilson bluntly put it, "By insisting on his successor's inclusion in the proceedings, Bush forced the current White House occupant to briefly abandon his unfrozen cave-man act, denying him the chance to further debase the office of president by siphoning the dignity out of 41's final hours in D.C. - something 45 likely would have relished, given the opportunity".

His son, ex-President George W Bush, is to deliver one of the eulogies.

Mulroney hailed Bush for his World War II military service; his handling of the implosion of the Soviet Union; the North American Free Trade Agreement he negotiated, and his "strong" environmental efforts, including a 1991 acid rain treaty with Canada that Mulroney described as a "splendid gift to future generations".

Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama - all Democrats - were joined by their wives, while in the pew behind them sat Mike Pence, the vice-president, and his predecessors Dan Quayle, Dick Cheney, Joe Biden, Al Gore and their wives.

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Since Bush's death, Trump has traded his usual provocative posture for one of respect and solemnity, tweeting before heading to the cathedral about "a day of celebration for a great man". He died Friday at age 94.

Amid an unusual bipartisan spirit at the service at Washington's National Cathedral, both Republican and Democratic politicians honoured a president who called for a "kinder, gentler" nation. 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".

He was seen good-naturedly greeting Bill Clinton as he took his seat. Like Baker's address Thursday, it was laced with indirect comparisons to Trump but was not consumed by them, as speakers focused on Bush's public life and character - with plenty of cracks about his goofy side, too.

Bush and former first lady Michelle Obama have reminded us of that fact twice this year. Former Sen. Bob Dole, a compatriot in war, peace and political struggle, steadied himself out of his wheelchair and saluted his old friend and one-time rival.

Most federal government offices will be closed on Wednesday as many federal workers will get the day off.

"I don't think it's respect for the human being if you talk smack about them, if you say the nastiest things about them, if you treat them as subhuman, and then you want to show up at their funeral".

Trump, no fan of the Bush family, has mocked "points of light" at recent campaign rallies, preferring his own protectionist philosophy of "America first".