U.S. President Donald Trump has declared a period of national mourning Saturday to honor former President George H.W. Bush.
The nation's 41st president died late on Friday, November 30, 2018, at the age of 94 - about eight months after the death of his wife, Barbara Bush. A former Navy pilot, he went on to serve the country as a congressman, an ambassador to the United Nations, director of the Central Intelligence Agency, vice-president and, finally, president.
In a statement issued after Bush’s death, the president and first lady Melania Trump said Bush had “inspired generations of his fellow Americans to public service.” The president also ordered American flags to be flown at half-staff for 30 days to honor Bush.
The White House announced Saturday that the Trumps will attend a state funeral for the former president at Washington’s National Cathedral. Trump was not invited to the funeral of former first lady Barbara Bush earlier this year. Melania Trump attended instead.
Former President Barack Obama said in a statement: “America has lost a patriot and humble servant in George Herbert Walker Bush.”
Bill Clinton, the man who defeated Bush in the 1992 presidential election, said, “Few Americans have been—or will ever be—able to match President Bush’s record of service to the United States and the joy he took every day from it.”
Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev worked closely with Bush to end the Cold War in the late 1980s. He told the Interfax news agency, “It was a dramatic time demanding huge responsibility from everyone. The result was the end of the Cold War and the nuclear arms race.”