Remembering George H.W. Bush: Memorial Service Held in D.C. for 41st President
Meacham: 'Bush a 20th century founding father.'
President George H.W. Bush is being remembered Wednesday for his lifetime of service to the nation at a memorial service at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.
The Bush family gathered outside the U.S. Capitol as service members carried the flag-draped casket of the 41st president from the Rotunda to a waiting hearse.
Four people are set to eulogize Bush: President George W. Bush, Jon Meacham, presidential historian and author, Brian Mulroney, former prime minister of Canada and Alan K. Simpson, former Wyoming U.S. senator.
Bush, who died at age 94 last Friday, will be laid to rest Thursday in Texas alongside his late wife, former first lady Barbara Bush, and their daughter Robin, who passed away from leukemia at age three in 1953.
Watch the powerful moment above and check back for updates throughout the solemn ceremony.
Meacham delivered the first eulogy, telling the story of Bush's Navy plane being shot down over the Pacific by Japanese forces in 1944.
He said Bush always asked himself why he survived and he went on to live his life by a code of telling the truth.
"Don't blame people. Be strong. Do your best. Try hard. Forgive. Stay the course. ... That was, and is, the most American of creeds," Meacham said.
Amazing eulogy by Jon Meacham calling @GeorgeHWBush - a “20th Century Founding Father” -adding — “For Lincoln and Bush both called on us to choose the right over the convenient, to hope rather than to fear and to heed not our worst impulses but our best instincts” #41stpresident
— Bret Baier (@BretBaier) December 5, 2018
Meacham lauded Bush as a "20th century founding father," who "made our and the lives of nations freer, better, warmer and nobler."
"That was his mission, that was his heartbeat and if we listen closely enough we can hear that heartbeat even now. For it’s the heartbeat of a lion, a lion who not only led us but loved us."