The second funeral service for George H.W. Bush is getting underway in Texas, as the former president will be laid to rest later Thursday on the grounds of his presidential library and museum.
The service – at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Houston – comes a day after Bush’s enormous legacy was honored by a procession of dignitaries and family members at Wednesday’s state funeral at the Washington National Cathedral.
After the Houston funeral, Bush’s casket will travel 70 miles by train on Union Pacific Locomotive 4141 to his final resting place in College Station on the Texas A&M University campus.
During Thursday’s Texas funeral, longtime Bush friend James Baker, the former secretary of state, will deliver a eulogy, as will grandson George P. Bush, the Texas land commissioner. The Oak Ridge Boys and Reba McEntire are slated to sing during the service.
GEORGE H.W. BUSH HONORED BY SON, DIGNITARIES IN EMOTIONAL FUNERAL TRIBUTE: ‘A GREAT AND NOBLE MAN’
Nearly a thousand invited guests are expected at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church, which is scheduled to last 75 minutes. Other well-known guests include: Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, actor Chuck Norris, astronaut Walter Cunningham, Houston Texan J.J. Watt, baseball Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan, former NBA player Dikembe Mutombo, amid others.
On Wednesday, Bush’s son, George W. Bush, also an ex-president, delivered an emotional and personal eulogy for “a great and noble man.” He choked up in describing “the best father a son or daughter could have.”
“We’re gonna miss you,” the 43rd president said of his father, the 41st president. “Your decency, sincerity and kind soul will stay with us forever.”
Bush, who died Friday at the age 94, was preceded in death by about eight months by his wife, Barbara Bush. He’ll be buried next to her, and their daughter Robin, who died in 1953.
Bush’s casket first arrived at the U.S. Capitol Monday night, when a short service was held with family, friends and lawmakers. Since then, thousands of visitors flocked to the Capitol Rotunda to pay their respects as Bush was lying in state. Jim McGrath, a spokesman for Bush, said nearly 12,000 people went to see Bush.
Later Wednesday, Bush’s casket departed Joint Base Andrews for Houston, Texas.