Before the funeral procession and the nation observed a day of mourning, Rep. Steve Knight, R-Santa Clarita, joined members of the public in visiting the Capitol rotunda where former President Bush’s remains lay in state.
On Tuesday, as the flag-draped casket sat in the same place as former Sen. John McCain’s had been placed three months earlier, Knight said he paid his respects to “one of the greatest patriots of our time.”
“His résumé of service to our country is enough to fill multiple extremely accomplished lifetimes,” Knight said the morning after his visit to the rotunda. “From being a hero in the Pacific as a naval aviator, director of the CIA, ambassador to the United Nations, vice president, and the 41st president of the United States, he represented the best qualities of leadership, humility and commitment that we expect from our leaders.”
Knight’s comments also extended to the entirety of the Bush family, who would attend a funeral service in the National Cathedral Wednesday alongside a select group of mourners, including all of the living presidents, other government officials and foreign dignitaries.
“His family’s continued leadership through his children and grandchildren is a testament to his legacy,” said Knight. “America owes the Bush family a debt of gratitude and my thoughts are with them during this time.”
In addition to Knight, Rep.-elect Katie Hill also took time on Wednesday to express her feelings regarding the former president.
“One of my most formative memories was watching the news with my grandfather — an Army veteran — through the ending of the Cold War,” Hill said. “I deeply respect President (George) H.W. Bush’s ability as a diplomatic leader to end that period of our nation’s history without firing a shot.”
Wednesday’s state funeral service honored the 94-year-old, who died Friday, with eulogies laden with stories of Bush’s compassion, love for his family and loyalty to his country. Following the service, the body was brought back to Houston, where there will be another funeral Thursday before he is interred at the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum.