Transcript for Pence: President George H.W. Bush's example 'will always inspire'
Speaker Ryan. Leader McConnell. Leader Schumer. Leader Pelosi. Members of congress. Distinguished guests. But most of all. President George W. Bush. Governor Jeb Bush. Neil Marvin. And oral. And the entire bush family it. It is deeply humbling. To stand before you today. At the beginning. Of a weaken our nation's capital when we will commemorate. And celebrate. The lifetime of service and leadership. Of the 41 president of the United States. President George Herbert Walker Bush. The Bible tells us to mourn with those who mourn and grieve with those who grieve. And today it. On behalf of the first family. And my family. And the American people. We offer our deepest sympathies. And respects to your Fam and and we thank you for sharing this special. With our nation and the world. Today President Bush becomes the 32 American to lie in state in the United States capitol rotunda. Soon. Americans from every corner of the country and every walk of life. We'll make their way to this rotunda to pay the respects of a grateful nation. On the death of Abner it is written that King David said do you not realize that it commander. And a great man has fallen in Israel this day. George Herbert Walker Bush. Was such a man. While he was known as the quiet man. It was not for lack of nerve or daring. We're in all of his 94 years President Bush never lost his love of adventure. Any never failed to answer the call to serve this country. Born into a tradition of public service. George Herbert Walker Bush began his own life of service. When he was still high school. After the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor in December of 1941. He wanted to do his part so he enlisted in the United States navy on his eighteenth birthday. On receiving his wings he became the nation's youngest naval aviator. And was sent to the South Pacific. We're his story almost ended. September 1944. On a bombing raid over Chichi jima. His aircraft was hit. His engine caught fire but he still managed to hit his target. For bailing out and being rescued by American. Forces after some four hours at sea. All told he flew 58 combat missions. And for his bravery under fire he earned the distinguished flying cross which would have been enough honor for any American life. George Herbert Walker Bush. Was just getting started. After he came home he staked his claim to a booming post war America by making a name for himself in the oil business. For four years she walked these halls as a congressman from Houston. President Nixon took notice of the young Texan and asked him to the our ambassador to the United Nations he let our party during a tumultuous. Time for the presidency. And after earning the respect of another president he did the work of the diplomat as the first United States envoy to China. And led the CIA. And then. For eight years George Herbert Walker Bush served as the 43 vice president of the United States. I'm told us he was preparing to become vice president he once joked about the job saying that there was quote. Nothing substantive to do it all. But as history records. During those years. He set the standard. As a sound counselor and loyal advisor. To an outsider who came to Washington DC to shake things up. Cut taxes rebuild the military. And together they did just that. And then. In 1988 he made history again. When George Herbert Walker Bush was elected in a landslide. As the 41 president of the United States of America. Becoming the first sitting vice president to win the presidency. In more than a 150. Years of our history. He served during an uncertain time in the world. Made momentous by his leadership. President Bush oversaw the fall of the Soviet Union the crumbling of the Berlin Wall. And under his leadership. America won the Cold War. He took our nation to war to repel aggression in the Persian gulf and through his leadership as commander in chief. And the brilliance of our armed forces the United States won a decisive victory. When president George Herbert Walker Bush left office he left America and the world. More peaceful. Prosperous. And secure. President Bush was a great leader. Who made a great difference in the life of this nation. Pretty there's also. Just a good man. Who was devoted to his wife his family and his friends. I was lucky enough to medium in 1988. When he was vice president. And I was a 29 year old just getting started in politics. Then as always I. Was struck by his approach ability. There was a kindness about the man. That was evident to everyone who ever met him. All his years in public service were characterized by kindness. Modesty and patriotism. He was so modest in fact that he never wrote an autobiography. But he did leave a record of his life. In the thousands. Of letters. That he room. I'm totally started writing letters to his parents when he was eighteen years old. And over time his circle correspondence grew to include family and friends advisors. And staff business associates former president's. I just about anyone who take the trouble to write to hill. After a lifetime of writing letters. My son got one just not too long ago. As I told two of his sons this weekend. When our son made his first Tailhook landing as a marine aviator on the USS George Herbert Walker Bush. I took the liberty of writing the ship's namesake. To ask for small favor. I didn't write him as a vice president to a former president a I just wrote is a proud dad of a marine aviator to former navy pilot. I asked him to sign picture of the flight deck that I could give to my son. Now we were told by the staff that the president had long sense and did the practice of signing autographs. And we understood that. But little to my surprise. Just in time for my son's wing. There came not only a signed photograph. But of course. A letter. And signed as well. August 2018. In that letter President Bush wrote to my son in his words congratulations on receiving your wings of gold I know how proud you and your family are at this moment. And then in words that assured us that the letter came directly from him. He wrote quote. Though we have not met. I share the pride your father has for you during this momentous occasion. And I wish you many C a the few days. All the best. G bush. I would come to learn. The debt Akron and taboo for short is a term navy pilots have you since World War II. The stands for. Ceiling and visibility. Unlimited. President Bush described taboo. In his words as the kind of weather we navy pilots wanted when we were to fly off our carrier in the Pacific and he once wrote. A letter to his children. Saying that can avenue. In his words. Describes my own life as it's been over the years and as it is right now. Ceiling. And visibility. Unlimited. No that may well describe the essence of this man. And I may well have been his vision. The vision he had for his life. For his children his children children and his country. No barriers but no boundaries. No limits. So we mourn what those who mourn and grieve with those who grieve. But we do not read like those who have no hope. President George Herbert Walker Bush. Had that hope. His face sustained in throughout his life of service and and we pray that faith will be a source of comfort. For all those who mourn the loss of this good man. And great America. President George Herbert Walker Bush loved his family. He served his country. His example will always inspire. In his lifetime of service. Will be enshrined in the hearts of the American people forever. Thank god bless the memory of George Herbert Walker Bush. And god comfort his family and friends. And may god continue to bless the United States. Of America.
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