After ceremony at Capitol, Bush casket arrives at National Cathedral for state funeral

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Former President George Herbert Walker Bush is driven past the White House for the final time en route from the Capitol to Washington National Cathedral for his state funeral late Wednesday morning. The presidential hearse led a motorcade that included Bush's sons, daughter and their spouses as well as Congressional leaders. (TMN/pool photo)

WASHINGTON – The casket containing the body of former President George Herbert Walker Bush arrived late Wednesday morning at Washington National Cathedral for his state funeral.

The casket arrived just before 11 a.m. via a motorcade from the U.S. Capitol. The Navy Band played “Hail to the Chief” as a military honor guard removed the casket from the presidential hearse.

The band had played the same song as the honor guard solemnly carried Bush’s body from the Capitol.

Members of the Bush family and congressional leaders stood not far from the Capitol steps as a brief ceremony took place that featured a 21-gun salute and artillery fire.

Bush laid in state in the Capitol Rotunda from Monday evening  through Wednesday morning. During that time, members of public came to pay their respects.

The hearse awaiting the body of George HW Bush, the 41st President of the United States, who lies in State in the Capitol Rotunda, before it leads the procession to National Cathedral for his State Funeral, December 5, 2018
The hearse awaits the body of the 41st president of the United States at the U.S. Capitol before it leads the procession to Washington National Cathedral for his state funeral late Wednesday morning.(Photo Copyright ©2018, Doug Christian/TMN)

At the cathedral, President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump are seated in the front row. Next to them are three former presidents and first ladies: Barack and Michelle Obama, Bill and Hillary Clinton, and Jimmy and Rosalyn Carter. The Vice President also is in attendance as are U.S. Supreme Court Justices.

Offspring of George Herbert Walker Bush await as his body is taken from the Capitol Rotunda to his State Funeral. From left to right: Columba Bush, wife of Jeb Bush, John Ellis "Jeb" Bush, former Governor of Florida and Presidential Candidate, Dorothy “Dora” Walker Bush Koch, Bobby Koch, husband of DORA KOCH, MARIA ANDREWS (holding hands with Neil Mallon Bush), wife of Neil Mallon Bush, Neil Mallon Bush (holding MARIA’s hand), Laura Bush (former First Lady and wife of George Walker Bush), GEORGE WALKER BUSH, former President of the United States, unknown military officer, Margaret Conway Molster (wife of Marvin Pierce Bush, and Marvin Pierce Bush, (Photo Copyright ©2018, Doug Christian)
The family of George Herbert Walker Bush await as his body is taken from the Capitol to his state funeral late Wednesday morning. From left: Columba Bush; her husband, John Ellis “Jeb” Bush, former governor of Florida and former presidential candidate; Dorothy “Doro” Walker Bush Koch; her husband, Bobby Koch; Maria Andrews; her husband, Neil Mallon Bush; former First Lady Laura Bush; her husband, former President George Walker Bush; unidentified military officer escorting the family; Margaret Conway Molster, and her husband, Marvin Pierce Bush. (Photo copyright ©2018, Doug Christian/TMN)

H.W.’s eldest son, George W. Bush, who served as America’s 43rd president, arrived at the cathedral with his wife, Laura Bush, and his siblings in the motorcade. The former president greeted the current and former first couples before being seated. He will eulogize his father.

The 41st president died Friday at age 94. He had been in failing health for several years.

During his tenure in office (1989-93), Eastern bloc nations gained independence, the Berlin Wall came down, the Soviet Union collapsed and the U.S. led an international coalition that drove Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein from Kuwait.

Prior to being elected president, the Republican served as vice president for eight years under Ronald Reagan. He also served as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, director of the Central Intelligence Agency and as a member of Congress.

The casket of George Herbert Walker Bush, the 41st President of the United States, is brought out of the Capitol Building to go to his State Funeral, December 5, 2018, (Photo Copyright ©2018, Doug Christian)
A military honor guard representing all the service branches brings the casket out of the Capitol. (Photo copyright ©2018, Doug Christian)
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