George H. W. Bush Laid to Rest at the Rotunda

 Rebekah Brancato   News Editor

On the night of Nov. 30, the 41st President of the United States, George H. W. Bush, passed away at his home in Houston, Texas. The longest-lived U.S President in history, George H. W. Bush passed away at age 94, just seven months after the death of his wife Barbara.

Born in Massachusetts in 1924, Bush enlisted in the armed forces on his 18th birthday and flew 58 combat missions during World War II. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for bravery in action after being shot down by Japanese antiaircraft fire, according to the White House.

On Dec. 3, former senator and World War II veteran Bob Dole rose from his wheelchair to give George H. W. Bush his final salute.

That day, Bush was lain in state in the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol – the tallest part of the Capitol building, located below the Capitol dome. The Rotunda was open to the public, and many mourners gathered from across the nation.

“President Bush was about service, and that’s what we’re missing today, service, in everything we do, in our communities, to our church. Just being nice. He embodied that, in an incredible way. And that’s why I came here,” said Dick Patten, president of the American Business Defense Council.

Among those who visited the Rotunda that day was Sully, Bush’s yellow Labrador service dog. Trained by America VetDogs, Sully worked with Bush after the death of former first lady Barbara Bush earlier this year, according to CNN. Sully was named after airline pilot Chelsey B. “Sully” Sullenberger, who became famous after landing a damaged passenger jet in 2009 and saved all 155 passengers and crew.

Bush became the 12th President to lie in state in the Rotunda. Shortly after news of his death, Dec. 5 was declared a National Day of Mourning, with all flags throughout the nation lowered to half-staff.

Campus Lantern
The Campus Lantern is the school newspaper at Eastern Connecticut State University. The Lantern is run by students, for students and reports on everything hppening around campus. We publish every other week. The Lantern has been in publication since 1945.

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