George H.W. Bush's Children and Grandchildren Mourn Their Late Patriarch at U.S. Capitol Ceremony
George H.W. Bush received a heartfelt send-off from his family on Monday.
Sons George W. Bush, 72, Jeb Bush, 65, Neil Bush, 63, and Marvin Bush, 62, as well as daughter Dorothy Bush Koch, 59, were all in attendance along with their spouses at the U.S. Capitol Rotunda, where the former president lies in state.
The patriarch raised his kids with his late wife of 73 years, Barbara, who died in April at age 92.
Joining the siblings were Bush’s grandchildren, including the 43rd president’s twin daughters Jenna Bush Hager and Barbara Bush, Jeb’s sons George Prescott and John Ellis and daughter Noelle, Neil’s daughters Lauren Bush Lauren and Ashley and son Pierce, Marvin’s sons Marshall and Charles, and Dorothy’s sons Sam and Robert and daughters Nancy and Georgia.
The 41st president’s body will remain on the Lincoln Catafalque in the Capitol Rotunda through 7 a.m. ET Wednesday, as it will stay open to accommodate public mourners. Bush is the first president to lie in state since the death of Gerald Ford in 2006. Including Bush, only 32 people have ever lain in state in the Rotunda, including Sen. John McCain earlier this year.
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Vice President Mike Pence also paid their respects.
Bush died late on Friday night at age 94. His spokesperson Jim McGrath confirmed the news, writing in a statement, “George Herbert Walker Bush, World War II naval aviator, Texas oil pioneer, and 41st President of the United States of America, died on November 30, 2018. He was 94 and is survived by his five children and their spouses, 17 grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren, and two siblings.”
“He was preceded in death by his wife of 73 years, Barbara; his second child Pauline ‘Robin’ Bush; and his brothers Prescott and William or ‘Bucky’ Bush,” the statement continued.
Following his death, members of Bush’s family remembered the patriarch on social media.
The 43rd president shared a heartwarming tribute to his father and to his parents’ love on Instagram, writing, “Jeb, Neil, Marvin, Doro, and I are saddened to announce that after 94 remarkable years, our dear Dad has died. George H. W. Bush was a man of the highest character and the best dad a son or daughter could ask for. The entire Bush family is deeply grateful for the 41’s life and love, for the compassion of those who have cared and prayed for Dad, and for the condolences of our friends and fellow citizens.”
Brother Jeb, who is a former Florida governor, tweeted: “I already miss the greatest human being that I will ever know. Love you Dad!”
Granddaughter Barbara told PEOPLE in an emotional interview that her grandfather was “so present” in her and her twin sister Jenna’s lives despite his demanding role as commander-in-chief. “I have so many memories [of] him because we were with him so often. We spent every summer with him since we were born, regardless of what role he was in politically,” she said.
Meanwhile, Jenna takes comfort in knowing that although her late grandfather gets to be reunited with his late wife Barbara. “Waking up missing this giant of a man who gave me everything,” she wrote on Instagram Saturday, adding, “He taught me and my family about service, family, decency, the power of gentle words and a beautiful heart. I will miss him desperately but so happy he and my Grandmother are back together.”