The Funeral of George H.W. Bush: He Loved His Friends, Family and America

Sometimes I watch these national ceremonies and sometimes I don’t. I didn’t watch the McCain funeral or the events surrounding it. I watched the Reagan funeral and was quite impressed with the manner in which it was handled and the precise choreography of each military action.

I decided to watch the George H. W. Bush funeral. It was after all a national day of mourning and the ceremonies surrounding it I felt would be similar to those of Reagan. Of course the most significant of all these presidential funerals for those old enough to remember is that of John F. Kennedy. Who could ever forget the riderless horse or France’s DeGaulle leading the foreign delegation or the eternal flame or the photo of John Jr. saluting his father?

I didn’t expect Bush’s funeral to come close to that – the JFK funeral was after an assassination that shocked the nation – even though both men fought well in WWII. Today is the 77th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor that required the presence of both men in the Pacific theater of war. Bush was lucky to live to see his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  His funeral was not tragic or very sad but it did remind us of the decent man which he was to his family,  friends, and country.

I admired the military for their tremendous ability to carry off their onerous duties in the very cold weather. Those kids deserve our utmost thanks and respect. Looking at them one is reminded of how young Bush was when he gave up his chance to go to Yale and joined the Navy and became a bomber pilot flying off aircraft carriers in the Pacific. Former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney one of the eulogists reminded us of this.

Seeing these young service people in formation and also in the various choirs makes me realize our best days as a country are still ahead of us. No matter how dark the days may seem at time we are all Americans. Those who seek to divide us will eventually fail. Of that I am sure.

I sometimes think a large reason for our present day’s yelling at each other- calling people libs, libtards, or repubtards – is the failure of people from  different parts of the country to get to meet and know each others.  At one time in our country we had a military draft which brought us into contact with each other. We realized during those encounters that no  matter how much philosophical,  political, or religious differences that separated us we were at the core Americans who would be there for the others in time of need.

Maybe that is what George H.W. Bush learned during his time in the service; maybe the deaths of the two crewmen in his airplane, Radioman Second Class John Delaney and Lt.(jg) William White, whose parachutes failed when they bailed out, burned deep into his heart the knowledge that differences in their backgrounds did not make them any less American than himself and that they died for America. He would always wonder why God spared him.

If there was one lesson I took away from his funeral it was his great love for America and that he put the country before himself. He knew when he went along with a bipartisan bill that included raising taxes that he would suffer for it. But he also knew that the bill was important for our country and he put it before himself.

I was pleased to hear the Irish proverb recited by one of the men who gave a eulogy: “There are good ships and wood ships, ships that sailed the sea, but the best ships are friendships, may they always be.” All those who spoke talked about how President Bush had many friendships with people from all walks of life. You want to know what friendship is! Consider this, the highly respected former Secretary of State James Baker seeing that President Bush was close to death spent the last half hour of his life rubbing his feet to bring him comfort.

The words of Alan Simpson the former senator from Wyoming who was a close friend of the late president Bush uttered the most memorable lines. These are words we all should keep in mind in these dire days. Speaking about George H. W. Bush he said: “He never hated anyone. He knew what his mother and my mother always knew: Hatred corrodes the container it’s carried in.”

21 thoughts on “The Funeral of George H.W. Bush: He Loved His Friends, Family and America

  1. Timothy Learrrryyyy !!!!!!!!

    Swamboji – Just watched Timothy Leary’s Ecstatic Death last week .

    Got the west end NOW Dass , btw .

    It holds up !!!


    Conversations on Loving and Dying
    by Ram Dass & Mirabai Bush

    “Death is an incredible opportunity to awaken.”
    – Ram Dass

    In Walking Each Other Home, Ram Dass and Mirabai Bush explore the ways in which we can be present with dying, and help ourselves and others leave this world consciously. Through masterful storytelling and practical guidance, these two teachers offer an intimate, thoughtful, and uplifting exploration of the greatest of human mysteries—and show us how death gives us an unparalleled opening to cultivate gratitude, compassion, mindfulness, and an abiding joy in the simple beauty of living.

    1. Ram Dass’ father, George Alpert, was an Assistant DA in Suffolk County during Prohibition. Afterwards he owned several railroads. He died a multi-millionaire in the late 80s. The facts may not be related, of course.

      1. Good stuff !!! ….He was flummoxed and awed that Maharishi ji, within ten minutes of Harvard Professor Richard Alpert’s ( Ram Dass’ ) arrival, told him intimate details of his father’s dying conversation with him . Alpert had pilgrimaged hippie highway India to top of mountain to meet the Holy Man. Forget his words verbatim, but that he was as attached to his dad as Joe Gould was to his was … Evident .
        When Alpert met him he was already a celebrated prophet of the Great Lord Sandoz of pharmaceutical grade LSD Dominion . Maharishi-ji regarded the HANDFUL of tablets in the Prophet’s hand , a quarter of which any one was orbital , and smoothly grabbed and gulped them .

        Alpert was in shock .

        He said ol’ Maharishi-ji showed not much, if not any , effect from the massive .or what Terrence McKenna would Heroic , dosage of the psychedelic as the day and night went on.

        He was convinced that the Maharishi-ji wanted to show him it was all in his head anyway !!!

  3. You can’t win, Matt. You could kiss-lick-lap the glistening spittle off the backmost molars in their most yakity orifices and you would still come out second best. Sheesh!

      1. Happy Hanukah. Or is it Chanukah? Chunucah?

        Did they ever figure out how to spell Qadaffi? Kadaffi? Kwa-daffy? Crud-Duffy?

              1. Abe :

                As Professor Bruss used to say .. There is no Linguistic Jehovah . So when your tongue gets stuck , as it seemed to in your aside to Matt , in that moist orifice you were consoling him upon , your mouth or his or whatever . …just waggle out those syllables and remember that we , here , enjoy your superb writing . Happy Chanukah .

  4. Man …did you read your December 4 Trump hate manifesto ?

    This is a game .

    Dems , or in deference to your newly radiant regard for political civility, Democrats , have …..and I have been intent on what their mental judo is and how to describe it …. No regard for logical impossibilities . It is not even hubris. Hubris requires that the man at least has the wit shake his fist at the sky and say … Fuck you !!!

    That you blithely post this paean , instead of your brilliant Pee-on two days ago , to political decorum and ceremony and the rituals of human loss and grief universally clasping all parties in their familiar and ordering embrace … Is hilarious .

    It is not delusional thinking. It does not involve rationality or a departure from the logical processes driving such.

    It is just a series of …. ARTIFACTS OF ABSURDITY !!!

    That’s all . The residents of the Institution are not to be treated unkindly !!!

  5. Decades ago Churchill described the Soviet Union as a murderous baboonary. Isn’t that an apt description of today’s Saudi Arabia and the Crown Prince?

  6. Good post. We are not experiencing dark days today. The sun is out, it is morning in America. Full employment. Wars being wound down in Yemen, Syria and hopefully Afghanistan. This is the spring of our hope. 2. H W Bush best contribution to our country was assisting Reagan in winning the Cold War. While O’Neil, Kennedy, Dukakis and Boland were trying to prevent the Gipper’s military buildup and stop SDI, HW was with him all the way. It is complete canard not to credit Reagan with the Cold war victory. The editor of the New Yorker was farcically praising Gorbachev for his role in the demise of the Soviet Union. One side won and one side lost. Washington was victorious over King George. Lincoln won over Jefferson Davis. Reagan triumphed over the evil empire and all their fellow travellers on the Left. No amount of revisionism will change that. 3. Read an interesting memoir by Seymour Hersch called Reporter. He chronicles all the misdeeds of the Nixon Administration. Tricky Dick used the CIA to spy on the anti war movement and his political opponents. The CIA charter prohibits domestic spying in America He had the FBI wiretap without warrants. Massive abuse and wrongdoing in the sixties and seventies. Under President Obama it appears the same illicit tactics were used. Bogus FISA warrants. Leaks of signals intel. Unmasking of private persons for political purposes. Use of foreign intelligence agencies to spy on Americans. Wholesale Constitutional violations. Rogue agencies run wild. The Swamp has to be drained. Deep Six the Deep State.

Comments are closed.