Former President George W. Bush breaks down remembering his father and sister

Christopher Wilson
Senior Writer

Former President George W. Bush kept his composure while delivering the eulogy for his father, former President George H. W. Bush, at his state funeral Wednesday at the Washington National Cathedral — until its final lines.

“Let us know the blessings of knowing and loving you,” Bush said, breaking down in tears. “A great and noble man. The best father a son or daughter could have. And in our grief, let us know dad is hugging Robin and holding mom’s hand again.”

Robin, George W. Bush’s younger sister, died from leukemia at age 3. Barbara Bush passed away in April at age 92. The elder Bush died Friday at age 94.

For most of the speech, the 43rd president kept the mood light, joking about his father’s golf game, his fishing skills and his aversion to vegetables. Bush also mentioned some of his father’s close friends, including former President Bill Clinton, the man who defeated him in the 1992 election.

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“My siblings and I refer to the guys in this group as ‘brothers from other mothers,’” said Bush, eliciting laughs from the audience, including Bill and Hillary Clinton.

Bush also thanked his dad for showing him how to be president, as the pair are only the second father-son presidential duo in American history.

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Former President George W. Bush speaks during the funeral service for former President George H. W. Bush at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 5, 2018. (Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)

“Of course, dad taught me another special lesson,” said Bush. “He showed me what it means to be a president who serves with integrity, leads with courage and acts with love in his heart for the citizens of our country.”

Wednesday’s state funeral was attended by all the living former presidents, their wives and President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump. In addition to George W. Bush, former Senator Alan Simpson and historian Jon Meacham also spoke at the National Cathedral service.

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