WASHINGTON — The plane carrying the body of George Herbert Walker Bush landed in Texas Wednesday evening, marking the 41st president’s final journey from the nation’s capital to his beloved Lone Star State after an emotional funeral.
Special Air Mission 41, which also carried Bush’s family, landed just before 5 p.m. CST at Ellington Field near Houston after journeying from Joint Base Andrews in Maryland. The plane, which normally carries the current president, has had the special designation all week as it transferred Bush’s remains and his family to and from Texas.
After a short ceremony at the air base, including a 21-gun salute and a military band’s rendition of “Hail to the Chief,” Bush’s body is being taken to St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Houston. The former president and his late wife of 73 years, Barbara, who died April 17, attended the church. Bush will lie in repose at St. Martin’s overnight as an honor guard stands watch.
Bush’s remains will be taken from the church Thursday and will be transported via motorcade to the Union Pacific Railroad Westfield Auto Facility in Spring, Texas. The former president’s casket will be loaded onto a funeral train and taken to College Station, Texas.
The body then will be driven to Texas A&M University. He will be interred at the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum, which is on the campus. He will be laid to rest next to his late wife and their daughter Pauline Robinson Bush. Known as Robin, she died of leukemia in 1953 at the age of 3.
Earlier the 43rd president, George W. Bush, eulogized his father at a moving funeral service at Washington National Cathedral. The four living former presidents and their wives attended the service as did President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump. Dignitaries from overseas who traveled to pay their respects included German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Prince Charles from the United Kingdom.
George H.W. Bush, who also headed the CIA and served in Congress, died Friday night at his Houston home. He was 94.