Remembering 41: George H.W. Bush laid to rest in College Station

Posted: 10:10 AM, Dec 06, 2018
Updated: 2019-05-13 16:33:44Z
Remembering 41: George H.W. Bush laid to rest in College Station

At the age of 94, many say that former President George H.W. Bush lived a life well lived.

A veteran, president, husband and father, the Bush legacy is apparent not only in the accomplishments of 41 but in the immense crowd that flooded College Station to pay their respects and give their last goodbye.

Despite the chill in the air and the on-off again rain, students, families and veterans from every branch of the military stood watch as Locomotive 4141 brought the Bush family to College Station and a step closer to Bush's final resting place. 

Bush served as the 41st president from 1989 to 1993. In the wake of a tumultuous era and the end of the Cold War, Bush's presidency brought home traditional values and a positive outlook, a hope to create a "kinder nation."  

As guests traveled from all areas of Texas, most described the patriarch as humble, honest and a family man. 

Of the hundreds of people in the crowd, children too young to even remember a life under a Bush presidency (41, or perhaps his son, 43) listened and watched people paying tribute to a man loved and remembered for his strong personality and perseverance, children partaking in the history themselves.

"Haven't not had the opportunity to meet him while he was alive, the least I feel I could do and others who have not is to pay their respects here in witnessing this moment," said Damen Smien, the owner of Hullabaloo Avenue. The store sells custom-made shirts honoring President Bush. 

"It's a pretty emotional day, so we're trying to keep it together," said College Station resident Sarah Cooper. "It's a big moment and the family means a lot to this community."

People lined the chain-link fence, waving American flags, A&M flags, homemade signs and phones as President 4141 entered the city, train horns signaling the president's last trip into Aggieland. 

"I felt proud and a little bit sad of course. You could really feel the energy of God following the train," said Michael Jacobs, assistant general manager of Caffe Eccell, a restaurant the Bush family would frequent when in town.

"Having the opportunity to work with and for and serve a great man, it's the least I could do," said Terry Tisdale, a friend and former colleague of the Bush family. 

As the locomotive entered the view of the people, silence fell across the crowd, everyone in awe of the historic moment.

"It's a part of history that we have a chance to participate in. We admired a lot of the qualities that George Bush had," Barbara Brice said.

The Bush family and friends aboard the train waved at spectators and would later thank them for making 41's last ride special.

George H.W. Bush was laid to rest alongside his wife of over 70 years, Barbara Pierce Bush, as well as his daughter, Robin.