The Hammer and Nigel Show
H&N: Recapping the Most Poignant Moments of the Final Farewell to George H.W. Bush
(David Hume Kennerly / Contributor / Getty Images)
The hilltop cathedral in Washington filled Wednesday with recollections of George H.W. Bush as a modest but mighty president, a man whose characteristic humility was belied one final time with all the pageantry of a state funeral.
"He valued character over pedigree and he was not a cynic. He looked for the good in everybody, and usually he found it," President George W. Bush told 3,000 political leaders and family members who congregated at the National Cathedral to say goodbye.
"To us," the younger Bush said, "he was close to perfect."
As Christian hymns echoed through the cathedral's limestone arches, sung and played by military orchestras and choirs, there seemed to be more laughter than tears in the pews -- a reflection of a long life lived in the company of good friends and family.
His eulogists each captured the successive roles Bush played in his lifetime: World War II flyboy, statesman, friend and father.
"He showed me what it means to be a president who serves with integrity, leads with courage and acts in love with his heart for the citizens of our country," George W. Bush said, describing his father as a man who preferred steaks and vodka martinis over broccoli, speed-boated and skydived as an octogenarian, and who lived life at two settings: "full throttle and sleep."
When the tears did come, it was when Bush was remembered as a family man who doted on the large brood who filled the first several rows of the sanctuary. George W. Bush, who as president was sometimes prone to an occasional cry, appeared to steel himself with deep breaths throughout the service before letting out a sob.
"He was the best father a son or daughter could have," he said, his eyes welling up and his body quaking. When he concluded, the congregation burst into sustained applause.
WIBC hosts Hammer and Nigel recap some of the more poignant moments from today's funeral in the following clip: