"His spirit of service and decency will be missed by many, including our family," Michelle Obama wrote in the tribute

By Maria Pasquini
December 02, 2018 12:01 PM
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Michelle Obama has a special place in her heart for the Bush family.

The former first lady, 54, paid tribute to George H.W. Bush on Saturday by sharing a throwback photo of the late 41st president giving her a sweet kiss on the cheek in the Oval Office.

“As a public servant, father, and grandfather, President George H.W. Bush was an extraordinary example for us all. His spirit of service and decency will be missed by many, including our family,” she wrote. “I hope his memory will be a guiding light for our country and those around the world.”

In the image, Mrs. Obama’s husband, former President Barack Obama, is pictured standing nearby.

Credit: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images; Charles Sykes/Invision/AP/REX/Shutterstock

On Sunday, the Becoming author announced that in order to attend Bush’s funeral this week, she would be cancelling her planned book tour appearances in Paris and Berlin.

“It’s important to me to join the Bush family in celebrating President George H.W. Bush’s exemplary life,” she wrote on Twitter. “This will unfortunately preclude my visits to Paris and Berlin. I’ve been deeply touched by the enthusiasm for my memoir, and I’m working to reschedule my trip for next year.”

“I hope readers and ticket holders will understand my decision regarding my desire to attend President Bush’s funeral, and join me in paying tribute to him and his tremendous contributions to our world,” she added.

The pair both attended the funeral for Bush’s late wife Barbara in April.

A state funeral will be held at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, starting at 11 a.m. ET. Additionally, Wednesday will be declared a national day of mourning in dedication to Bush, President Donald Trump announced Saturday.

Following the state funeral, Bush’s remains will be transported to Houston, where he lived. A second memorial service will also be held at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Houston at 11 a.m. on Thursday.

He will then be laid to rest at the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum at Texas A&M University. His late wife Barbara as well as their daughter Robin, who died at the age of three from leukemia, are also buried there.

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Although Trump did not attend Barbara’s funeral, he plans to attend Wednesday’s service.

Mrs. Obama has spoken warmly of the family in the past. Opening up about her special bond with former President George W. Bush during a November interview with his daughter, Jenna Bush Hager, on Today, Mrs. Obama shared that although she doesn’t “agree with him on everything,” they’re still friends.

Commenting on their differing political views, Mrs. Obama said that while they “have different ideas” about what’s best for America, “that doesn’t make me evil. And that doesn’t make him, you know, stupid.”

“It’s just a disagreement and that’s how I feel about your father. You know? He’s a beautiful, funny, kind, sweet man,” she shared.

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George W. Bush and Michelle Obama
| Credit: ZACH GIBSON/AFP/Getty

After George W. Bush was seen on camera offering her a piece of candy at John McCain’s funeral, the author also went on to describe him as her “partner in crime.”

“[President Bush] is my partner in crime at every major thing where all the formers gather. So we’re together all the time, and I love him to death. He’s a wonderful man. He’s a funny man,” Mrs. Obama said during a visit on the Today show in October.

She went on to explain why she believed the bipartisan moment quickly went viral. “That’s what people are hungry for…. Party doesn’t separate us; color, gender, those kinds of things don’t separate us. It’s the message that we send,” she shared.

This way of thinking was also exemplified in a letter the late president wrote to incoming President Bill Clinton in 1993, which went viral after Bush’s death.

Without making any mention of their differing political opinions, the Republican wished his Democratic successor the best of luck in the note, writing, “You will be our President when you read this note. I wish you well. I wish your family well. Your success now is our country’s success. I am rooting hard for you.”