Washington D. C. [USA], Dec 6 (ANI): Former United States President George W. Bush choked up while delivering the eulogy at his late father and former President George H. W. Bush's state funeral at the National Cathedral, and said that the latter was "close to perfect" and taught him how to lead.
Bush was among the four eulogists at the ceremony, along with former Wyoming Senator Alan Simpson, who was also a close friend to the late 41st President, former Canadian prime minister Brian Mulroney and Presidential historian Jon Meacham.
"He showed me what it means to be a president who serves with integrity, leads with courage and acts with love in his heart for the citizens of our country. When the history books are written, they will say that George H.W. Bush was a great president of the United States," CNN quoted Bush, as saying.
Towards the conclusion of his eulogy, the grieving son, who could not hold back his tears, added: "Your decency, sincerity and kind soul will stay with us forever. So through our tears, let us know the blessings of knowing and loving you, a great and noble man. The best father a son or daughter could have."
Simpson, meanwhile, said that the late President's tombstone needs just one alphabet, the letter 'L', symbolising George H. W. Bush's loyalty.
"His epitaph, perhaps just a single letter: The letter 'L' for loyalty. It coursed through his blood. Loyalty to his country, loyalty to his family, loyalty to his friends, loyalty to the institutions of government. None of us were ready for this day. We mourn his loss from our own lives and what he was to each of us," Simpson said, adding that George H. W. Bush was "the most decent and honorable person" he ever met.
The former Canadian Prime Minister reflected on a private conversation he shared with the late 41st President at Walker's Point in Maine. Mulroney recalled that following the conversation about their lives over the years, George H. W. Bush took him to a plaque on the property that read, "CAVU".
The late President then told Mulroney, "Brian, this stands for ceiling and visibility unlimited when I was a terrified 18- to 19-year-old pilot in the Pacific, those, those were the words we hoped to hear before takeoff. It meant perfect flying. And that's the way I feel about our life today, CAVU. Everything is perfect. Barbara and I could not have asked for better lives. We are truly happy and truly at peace".
Meachum highlighted the former President's life code while delivering his eulogy.
"Tell the truth. Don't blame people. Be strong. Do your best. Try hard. Forgive. Stay the course," Meachum said, further describing it as being "the most American of creeds".
President Donald Trump, along with First Lady Melania was in attendance at the ceremony. With former Presidents Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter also among the attendees, this marks the first time Trump has come face-to-face with four of his predecessors.
George H. W. Bush's body has been flown to Houston, Texas, where the former President will be taken to the St. Martin's Episcopal Church, where another memorial will be held.
The 41st President, who died on November 30 at the age of 94, will then be laid to rest at the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library in College Station in Texas. (ANI)