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State Funeral of George H.W. Bush. Aired 1-1:30p ET
Aired December 5, 2018 - 13:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[13:00:00] CHOIR: (SINGING "ETERNAL FATHER, STRONG TO SAVE": Cry to Three, for those in peril on the sea.
Most Holy Spirit, who didst brood, upon the chaos dark and rude, and bid it's angry tumult cease, and give, for wild confusion, peace. Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee, for those in peril on the sea.
O Trinity of love and power, our family shield in danger's hour. From rock and tempest, fire and foe, protect us wheresoever we go. Thus evermore shall rise to Three, glad hymns of praise, and hymns of praise, glad hymns of praise from land and sea.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Give rest, o Christ, to your servant with your saints.
ALL: Where sorrow and pain are no more. Neither sign but life everlasting.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You only are immortal, the creator and maker of mankind, and we are mortal, formed of the earth and to earth shall we return. For so did you ordain when you created me saying you are dust, and to dust you shall return. All of us go down to the dust, yet even at the grave we make our song, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.
ALL: We rest (INAUDIBLE) servant with your saints, where sorrow and pain are no more (INAUDIBLE) life everlasting.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Into your hands, o merciful Savior, we commend your servant, George. Acknowledge we humbly beseech you as sheep of your own fold, a lamb of your own flock, a sinner of your own redeeming. Receive George into the arms of your mercy, into the blessed rest of everlasting peace and into the glorious company of the saints in light. Amen.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now may the God of peace, who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus Christ, the great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect to do his will, working in you that which is well pleasing in his sight, the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, be on you and remain with you in this world in which we live this day and forevermore. Amen. [13:05:17] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let us go forth in the name of Christ.
ALL: Thanks be to God.
[13:21:06] WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: We've been watching a truly gut- wrenching, very, very emotional, powerful memorial service, state funeral, for the 41st president of the United States.
The family now getting into the vehicles. The motorcade will take the casket from the Washington National Cathedral to Joint Base Andrews for the flight to Houston, Texas.
You know, this moment was extremely powerful, Jake, especially for the 43rd president, George W. Bush, who explained how his father had taught him to lead, to govern with, quote, love in his heart for the citizens of our country. He said his dad's brushes with death made him young, even as he grew old, and that that genuine optimism steered his life.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: It was very moving, especially when George W. Bush, the 43rd president, talked about how his father was the best father that any son or daughter could ever hope for. He's an emotional man. He's known for crying, George W. Bush, for being weepy on occasion, and he almost made it through the entire speech, but he choked up quite a bit at the end. It was very emotional, very moving.
The four men that the former president, the late President George H.W. Bush, picked to eulogize him here at the National Cathedral all addressed different parts of his biography. You had Jon Meacham, the historian and journalist, talking about Bush, focusing to a large degree on his service in the military during World War II. You had the former Canadian prime minister, Brian Mulroney, talking about Bush the statesman, Bush the world leader. And you had former Senator Alan Simpson talking about Bush as a friend. And lastly, of course, George W. Bush talking about his father as a dad.
And now the Bush family, they -- I know they hate it when journalists or others use the term dynasty, but it is a family that has service, gone through four generations now starting with Senator Prescott Bush, who was a senator from Connecticut from the '50s to the '60s. His son, George H.W. Bush has now gone. And George W. Bush is now the family patriarch. That rests with him now, that responsibility, that duty.
And you heard him speaking at the funeral on behalf of all the Bush children, his brothers, Neil and Jeb and Marvin, his sister, Doro, referencing his late sister, Robin, speaking on behalf of his children and their children. George W. Bush is now the patriarch of this family.
BLITZER: This motorcade will leave the Washington National Cathedral, head towards Joint Base Andrews right outside Washington, D.C. And, interestingly, Jake, it will drive past the World War II Memorial here in Washington, D.C. Won't stop, but drive past the World War II Memorial. President George H.W. Bush being part of that greatest generation that fought in World War II.
Dana Bash is just outside the Washington National Cathedral.
I understand the 3,000 or so guests, they'll be emerging fairly soon.
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right, they will be. Right now the doors are closed to the people who are inside, to the guests, as we look at it and we wait for the hearse to go along with the motorcade to leave here, as you said, Wolf, to leave and go past the World War II Memorial to Joint Base Andrews and leave Washington for the very last time for the 41st president of the United States.
And I have to say, just sitting out here watching this frankly regal ceremony, the casket coming down, his family coming behind him and watching the 43rd president in particular stand on those steps looking down at the casket of his father, knowing that he had just delivered probably the hardest speech of his life, one that he dreaded giving, knew he would have to give for a long time, and doing it in the building, this extraordinary cathedral, where he has personal history with his own presidency, giving the speech that he had to give after 9/11, and that moment that Jamie Gangel has shared where his father inside those very pews reached over and grabbed his hand in a gesture of fatherly love.
[13:25:28] And now you see him, you can see the picture there, certainly probably a sense of relief that he got through it, this incredibly important speech that he had to give for his father.
So we're sitting here watching the honor guard, waiting for the hearse to depart the National Cathedral for the last time.
BLITZER: I know they'll be heading, as we say, over to Joint Base Andrews and then the flight to Houston, Texas. And later tomorrow over at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas, where the 41st president of the United States will be buried alongside his wife, Barbara Bush.
And, we'll, of course, have extensive live coverage of that as well.
Anderson, a truly, truly powerful moment here in Washington.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, poignant, funny at times, obviously moving. It's going to take about 30 minutes for the convoy to head over to -- to arrive at Joint Base Andrews. There will also be a departure ceremony there as well with honor guards, also the "Hail to the Chief" again will be played. The body of the 41st president will be loaded onto an aircraft and the family will depart with President George H.W. Bush. And there will be more tomorrow, obviously, in Texas at the site of the burial.
John King, your thoughts on what we just witnessed over the last hour or so?
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The class. The class, the regal -- Dana used the word regal of the ceremony itself. The humor I think is very important. The humor from Alan Simpson, the humor for George W. Bush, the humor mostly at the late President Bush's expense, which is the way he liked it. This town lacks humor. To break up tense moments, to break up tough moments, this town lacks it sorely right now. And to see it play out in such an important setting, in such a decent way.
And also the substance. It was very substantive in the sense that when you heard Alan Simpson talk about the tough domestic decisions President Bush had to make to raise taxes, Brian Mulroney talking about when the wall came down, when Mandela was freed. All the big things Bush had to deal with. I thought it was just a wonder, classy encapsulation of the man, his career and just who he was as a person.
COOPER: You don't hear, I mean to John's point, Gloria, you don't hear much humility, you don't hear much humor from the White House certainly these days. It certainly was a different kind of perspective that George H.W. Bush had.
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Everything about this was different. I think, to me, in listening to all of these things, it was -- particularly Jon Meacham's speech, it seem -- which was remarkable, it seems to me that the message that came across about George H.W. Bush was not only did character count, but character was everything, everything in his life.
And you look at the language that (INAUDIBLE) used, no occupant more courageous or honorable. His life's code said, tell the truth, don't blame people, be strong, do your best, try hard, forgive, stay the course. That is from Meacham. And, you know, in praising Bush this way, it can't help but sound like a critique of the current occupant of the office, but I don't really think it was. I think people were just praising this man as he -- as he lived his life. And not necessarily making a comparison to the world in which we live, in which this does not exist in large doses because Bush was so singular that way. So in every story everybody told, it was about the way this man lived his life with decency and with integrity, and that is the way he governed and that is the way he was trusted, not only by people in this country, but as Mulroney put it, all around the world, that every world leader felt that way about him. So I think it was an ode to the man's essence.
DAVID GREGORY, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: You know, I -- we can't all identify with, you know, what it is to be a president or to have a father who is a president, but we can identify with them as people going through relationships in their lives, just like we all do, with our spouses, with our siblings, with our kids, with our parents.
I remember George W. Bush talking about a note that he had written to his teenage daughters saying there's nothing I can do -- nothing you can do to get me to stop loving you, so please stop trying.
[13:30:03] And he talked about unconditional love.