Mourners Honor George H.W. Bush at Capitol Ceremony

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Many spoke of Bush's role in a bygone era of bipartisan civility in US politics, a sharp contrast to today's bitter divisions in the age of President Donald Trump, a fellow Republican.

His son, former President George W. Bush, placed his hand to his heart as his father's flag-draped coffin was carried up the steps of the Capitol.

Federal agencies were also shuttered to mark the deaths of former presidents Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford. It's where he and his wife of 73 years, Barbara, who died a little over 7 months ago, vacationed every summer.

"As much as our family is going to miss this dog, we're comforted to know he'll bring the same joy to his new home, Walter Reed, that he brought to 41", former President George W. Bush wrote on Instagram.

The White House also issued a presidential proclamation that the American flag will fly half-staff on all public buildings and grounds, military posts, and United States embassies around the world for the next 30 days.

In a statement announcing Bush's passing, Trump said he hoped people across the world would spend December 5 remembering Bush.

The casket will then be flown back on the presidential plane to Houston, where the former head of state will lie in repose at St Martin's Episcopal Church - where the Bushes worshiped for decades - until a funeral service at 1700 GMT Thursday.

Mourners Honor George H.W. Bush at Capitol Ceremony
Mourners Honor George H.W. Bush at Capitol Ceremony

Sully was provided to Bush by America's VetDogs, a group which pairs service and therapy dogs with people with physical limitations like blindness, or those who suffer from effects of post-traumatic stress disorder.

"He was just a high-quality man who truly loved his family", Trump said on Saturday while in Argentina for the G20 summit.

'George H.W. Bush was a man of the highest character and the best dad a son or daughter could ask for, ' he continued. He was elected to the first of two terms in Congress in 1967.

Bush served two terms as vice president under Republican President Ronald Reagan before his own stint in the Oval Office from 1989 to 1993, a time that saw the end of the Cold War as well as the US routing of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's army in the 1991 Gulf War. He would go on to serve as ambassador to the United Nations and China, head of the Central Intelligence Agency and chair of the Republican National Committee before being elected to two terms as Ronald Reagan's vice-president.

Bush and Bill Clinton smile as they leave the Oval Office in 2005. The pair worked together to raise tens of millions of dollars for victims of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and Hurricane Katrina, which swamped New Orleans and the Gulf Coast in 2005.

Baker said the elder Bush's last words were, "I love you, too", spoken to the younger President Bush, the country's 43rd president.

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