Political A-Listers Appear at Barbara Bush Funeral

Historian Jon Meacham gives memorable eulogy
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 21, 2018 1:00 PM CDT
Barbara Bush Was 'First Lady of the Greatest Generation'
Former President George H. W. Bush greets the mourners with his daughter Dorothy "Doro" Bush Koch during the visitation for former first lady Barbara Bush at St. Martin's Episcopal Church Friday, April 20, 2018, in Houston. Barbara Bush died on April 17, at the age of 92.   (Mark Burns/Offce of George H.W. Bush/Pool via AP)

Barbara Bush was the "first lady of the greatest generation." Addressing former presidents, ambassadors, and hundreds of other mourners inside the nation's largest Episcopal church on Saturday, historian Jon Meacham recalled Barbara Bush's quick wit that made her so popular, the AP reports. He also spoke of her devotion to her husband of 73 years, former President George HW Bush, noting he was the "only boy she ever kissed." Meacham recalled her work bringing awareness to AIDS patients and in promoting literacy. Meacham, who wrote a 2015 biography on George H.W. Bush, joined some 1,500 people on a gray, rainy day to honor Barbara Bush at the private funeral, filling St. Martin's Episcopal Church in Houston a day after more than 6,000 people paid their respects during a public viewing.

George HW Bush was helped into the cavernous sanctuary with a wheelchair behind his sons, former President George W. Bush and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. He laughed as Meacham and others recalled his wife's wicked sense of humor. Seated near the front of the church, in the same pew, were two other former presidents—Bill Clinton and Barack Obama—along with their wives and current first lady Melania Trump. Jeb Bush also delivered a eulogy along with his mother's longtime friend, Susan Baker, wife of former Secretary of State James A. Baker III. Her grandchildren also played prominent roles. Her granddaughters offered readings during the service and her grandsons served as pallbearers. Barbara Bush died, with her husband by her side, at their home in Houston on Tuesday at age 92.

(Read more Barbara Bush stories.)

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