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7 poignant quotes from George H.W. Bush's state funeral

Posted: 10:50 AM, Dec 05, 2018
Updated: 2018-12-05 20:57:03Z

Former United States President George H.W. Bush was honored with a state funeral Wednesday, drawing about 3,000 political figures, world leaders and family members to the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. 

Numerous speakers marked the occasion with shared memories and kind words for the departed 41st president. 

PHOTOS: State funeral for George H.W. Bush

Here's what they had to say.

"Tell the truth. Don't blame people. Be strong. Do your best. Try hard. Forgive. Stay the course."

-Presidential historian Jon Meacham, speaking of Bush's life code

"Brian, this stands for ceiling and visibility unlimited when I was a terrified 18- to 19-year-old pilot in the Pacific, those, those were the words we hoped to hear before takeoff. It meant perfect flying. And that's the way I feel about our life today, CAVU. Everything is perfect. Barbara and I could not have asked for better lives. We are truly happy and truly at peace."

-Former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, recalling a conversation he had with Bush in 2001. This is what Bush told him when they came upon a plaque that said "CAVU"

"It coursed through his blood. Loyalty to his country, loyalty to his family, loyalty to his friends, loyalty to the institutions of government."

-Former Sen. Alan Simpson

"Your decency, sincerity and kind soul will stay with us forever. So through our tears, let us know the blessings of knowing and loving you, a great and noble man. The best father a son or daughter could have."

-Bush's son, former President George W. Bush

"I said, 'Dad, I love you and you've been a wonderful father.' And the last words he would ever say on Earth were, 'I love you, too.'"

-Former President George W. Bush

"Some have said in the last few days, 'this is an end of an era.' But it does not have to be. Perhaps it's an invitation to fill the hole that has been left behind."

-Rev. Russell Levenson

“My hunch is heaven, as perfect it must be, just got a bit kinder and gentler ... so Mr. President, mission complete. Well done, good and faithful servant,”

-Rev. Russell Levenson

The full service can be viewed below.

Susan Gonzalez is a digital producer and journalist for the E.W. Scripps national team. Follow her on Twitter @TheNewsan .