Transcript for Former President George H.W. Bush lies in state in US capital
And we are here in the nation's capital tonight to honor a former president, George H.W. Bush. He made his final trip to Washington late this afternoon in a powerful and moving sight it was. With the sun setting as his coffin was carried up the steps of the capitol, his son, George W. Bush and Laura bush, you could see the pain on their faces, and the rest of the bush family. And at this hour, a look inside the roe dunta, where the former president now lies in state, as Americans and lawmakers from both parties line up to pay their respects to the last president of the greatest generation. A man, a leader who admitted to mistakes but hoped that people would remember the good things. They are remembering tonight, a devoted family man, a man who served his country. This morning, the family of president George Herbert walker bush standing over his casket, draped in an American flag. The president's dog, sully, right there, too. The remains of America's longest living president were then carried out by members of the secret service in Houston. The motorcade on its way to Ellington field joint reserve base, where air force one was waiting, sent by president trump, dubbed special air mission 41. Families and children lining up to say good-bye. ?????? former president George W. Bush and his wife, Laura, their hands to their hearts, then, the family boarding, too. A wave from the former president and first lady. Arriving in Washington late this afternoon, Navy sailors from the uss George H.W. Bush, standing at attention. The motorcade traveled to the U.S. Capitol, where members of the former president's cabinet were waiting. With the sun low in the sky, a beautiful sunset. George W. Bush and Laura bush waiting atop the steps of the capitol, and you could read her lips. The former first lady saying, "What a beautiful night" to the former president. And then, a 21-gun salute. The casket was then carried up the steps to the rotunda. The emotions of a son and former president, you could see it as he watched his father return to Washington. Inside, the casket was placed on the Lincoln catafalque. It was a long and remarkable journey for president bush, the boy from Milton, Massachusetts, born in 1924. The son of a banker and a senator. He would later meet the love of his life, Barbara pierce, at a Christmas dance. He was the first boy she would kiss. The following year, George enlisted in the Navy on his 18th birthday. While overseas, he would write to Barbara, his darling bar. He was shot down over the pacific. He was rescued and he made it home to Barbara. They would have six children and among them, a little girl named robin who died of leukemia at 3. It was a loss that broke both of them. He was very close. I was very close to her. She adored him. What was it that pulled you back up on your feet afterwards? He was very strong then. He was wonderful. From the oil business to politics, he was a congressman, a CIA director, and the loyal vice president to Ronald Reagan. He would then get his own chance. I want a Kinder and gentler nation. As president, guiding the country through the end of the cold war and driving Saddam hussein out of Kuwait. But with the economy at home being tested, he would lose re-election to Bill Clinton, describing the loss to Diane sawyer. Just had a great feeling of letting down a lot of people. A lot of people that worked for me. You have this ghastly feeling you let them down. And then you get over it and you go on with your life. He would leave a letter for Bill Clinton, writing, "I wish your family well. Your success is now our country's success. I'm rooting hard for you." He would later build an unlikely friendship with Bill Clinton, and they would raise money for the victims of the tsunami and here at home after Katrina. President bush and his wife, Barbara, were married 73 years, the longest of any president and first lady and we would learn he held her hand until the end. He lost her just eight months ago. At her funeral, the Clintons, the Obamas and first lady Melania trump. And Barbara Bush revealing along the way how she wanted her husband to be remembered. He is the most decent, honorable, wonderful -- nobody's ever been as lucky as I've been. I want people to remember him as courageous -- I want them to remember him as he is. It was less than a year ago he sat before his wife. There was sadness, but not fear, as he once told Diane. I do think that -- that you go to heaven, there is a heaven, and -- I don't fear it, though. When I was a little guy, I'd fear death, I'd be -- worried about it, be scared. Not anymore. Not fearing death in the end. And what he said when he was asked who he wanted to see in heaven. That's coming up a bit later here. And one more pointed image tonight. President bush's service dog, you saw sully in front of the coffin today. The Labrador boarded that flight to Washington, as well. He will return to service soon at Walter reed meld call center, where he will continue to serve veterans, just as he was so loyal to his president. And as we reported there, president trump sending air force one, and he and the first lady, Melania trump, will attend the funeral at the national cathedral on Wednesday. Presidents Carter, Clinton and Obama will be there, as well. I want to bring in ABC's Jonathan Karl, live tonight, and Jon, we know there had been tension when Donald Trump was running for office, what was said about the bushes, but Jon, this really is a moment of yubty here in Washington. Reporter: It sure is, David. This will be the first time that we will see all of the living presidents together since the inauguration of Donald Trump. And it is a moment of unity that is really befitting of George H.W. Bush. This was somebody known for striking up genuine friendships with people who had been bitter rivals, and in the case of Donald Trump, the resentment went both ways. Of course, trump was as harsh a critic as there was of the bush family, and George H.W. Bush so resented trump that he actually crossed party lines and voted for Hillary Clinton. But when it came time for trump to become president, at the inauguration, the former president bush, the elder bush, wrote him a letter, saying, "I want you to know, I wish you the very best as you begin this incredible journey of leading our great country." So, yes, David, a moment of unity, as the country pays tribute to George H.W. Bush. All right, Jon Karl across town at the white house tonight. Jon, thank you. And before we move on, to let you know, the state funeral, Wednesday morning at the national cathedral, and of course we're carry it live right here on ABC Wednesday morning.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.