Photos from the funeral services for George H.W. Bush

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Poland's Duda, Wałęsa attend Bush Senior's memorial service

07 December, 2018

Almost 30 years later, Mulroney again spared few superlatives Wednesday during a solemn and reverential state funeral at Washington's National Cathedral, predicting that the 41st president would go down in history as the strongest, bravest and most distinguished commander-in-chief the United States has ever known.

"We just rode on the railroads all the time, and I've never forgotten it", Bush said then, recalling how he took trains, and often slept on them, during trips as a child with his family. "When the history books are written, they will say that George H.W. Bush was a great president of the United States". The president shook hands with the Obamas, who were closest to him, but no greeting was exchanged between him and the nearby Clintons. But more than anything, he said he's grateful that his "decency, sincerity, and kind soul will stay with us forever".

Bush Snr had been in ill health in the months leading up to his death which came seven months after that of his wife, Barbara, who died April 17 at age 92. He said he took comfort in knowing "Dad is hugging Robin and holding Mom's hand again".

Bush choked up at the end of his eulogy before regaining his composure. Trump also declared Wednesday a national day of mourning. Allen tells The Tennessean newspaper the band did an impromptu performance for Bush at the White House when Bush was vice president and that began a decades-long friendship.

Rather than a 21-gun salute, the Navy's planned tribute to the late President George H.W. Bush could be called a 21-top-gun salute.

The late president's eulogists - son included - noted Bush's tendency to tangle his words and show his goofy side.

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Bill Clinton and Mrs. Obama smiled and chatted as music played.

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Prior to the start of the ceremony, the president used his preferred platform - Twitter - to send a message of remembrance, urging Americans to treat the occasion not as a funeral, but as a celebration of the former president's life. Retired Union Pacific General Director Mike Iden said that while touring the locomotive after its unveiling in 2005, Bush paused in the conductor's cab.

Trump's relationship with the Bush family has been tense.

The remains of Bush, who died last week in Texas at the age of 94, were flown to Texas on Wednesday evening following a formal state funeral where the World War Two veteran-turned-politician was hailed as a warrior-statesman of uncommon personal kindness. Jeb Bush stepped up to try to extend that run but fell short when Trump won the 2016 Republican primaries.

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