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tv   2018 Memorial Services  CSPAN  December 25, 2018 12:04am-1:58am EST

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solvers caucus, i believe there is too much power in too few hands, too little getting done for the american people, and i fear that isn't going to change. >> conversations with retiring members of congress, saturday at 8:00 p.m. on c-span and or the free c-span radio app. >> now on c-span, portions of the memorial services and funerals for barbara bush, senator john mccain, and former president george h.w. bush. the former first lady died on april 17 and was buried on the grounds of the george h.w. bush presidential library and museum at texas a&m university. her funeral took place at st. martin's episcopal church in houston, where the bush family attended services for more than 50 years.
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mr. meacham: about a decade ago, i was on the washington mall for the national book festival on my way to give a talk about a book i had written, when a woman ran up to me. which does not happen enough, believe me. she said, oh my god, it is you. i said, well, yes. kind of hard to argue with. she said, i just admire you so much. i love your books. you have meant a lot to me and my family. would you wait right here? i want to buy your new book and have you sign it. i said, yes, ma'am. let us confess in this ecclesiastical setting that i was feeling kind of full of myself. when she came back with john grisham's latest novel. [laughter] mr. meacham: it gets worse. that was on a saturday in september and i was on my way to maine to see the 41st president
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of the united states and mrs. bush. i was feeling rather sorry for myself. i told this story. and mrs. bush looked across the table, looked me in the eye. i was thinking, here comes some motherly sympathy. [laughter] mr. meacham: that is called telegraphing. here it comes. she said, how do you think poor john grisham would feel? [laughter] mr. meacham: he is a very handsome man. [laughter] mr. meacham: so i was 0-2. but it was a fair and funny point, as were so many of the points that barbara pierce bush made in her long and consequential life. known as barbara and bar, as mom, as mother, as ganny, as the silver fox, and as the enforcer,
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she was candid and comforting, steadfast and straightforward, honest and loving. barbara bush was the first lady of the greatest generation. as the fiancee and wife of a world war ii naval aviator, she waited and prayed in the watches of the night. during the war, she worked at a nuts and bolts factory in port chester, new york, and she joined george h.w. bush in the great adventure of postwar texas, moving to distant odessa in 1948, 70 summers ago. from rye, mrs. bush's mother would send boxes of soap and detergent to her daughter, on the grounds they probably did not have that kind of thing in west texas. [laughter] mr. meacham: mrs. bush raised a family, endured the loss of a
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daughter to leukemia, and kept everything and everyone together. as the wife of one president and the mother of another, she holds a distinction that belongs to only one other american in the long history of the republic, abigail adams, who was present at the creation. from the white house to camp david to walker's point, in hours of war and peace, of tumult and calm, the bushes governed in a spirit of congeniality, civility, and grace. instinctively generous, barbara and george bush put country above party, the common good above political gain, and service to others above the settling of scores. the couple had met at a christmas dance in greenwich in 1941, not quite three weeks
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after pearl harbor. she was wearing a red and green holiday dress. he endeavored to get introduced. she was 16, he was 17. he was the only boy she ever kissed. her children, she remarked, always wanted to throw up when they heard that one. [laughter] mr. meacham: in a letter to barbara during the war, george h.w. bush wrote, "i love you, precious, with all my heart, and to know that you love me means my life. how often i have thought about the immeasurable joy that will be ours someday. how lucky our children will be to have a mother like you." and if you ask them, they will be the first to say they were.
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i once asked president bush if he had known, even in the beginning, how resilient mrs. bush would be. no, he said, tears coming to his eyes, and he went on. she is the rock of the family, the leader of the family. i kind of float above it all. she is always there, always there for me and for the kids. just amazing. debutante from rye, willing to make our own way, have adventures. was not always easy for her, but never a word of complaint, just love and strength. opinions, too, of course, lots of those. she was strength itself. and if her tongue were sometimes sharp, she was as honest with herself as she was with all of us. when she once described a female political opponent of her
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husband as a word that rhymes with rich, she reported that her family had begun calling her the poet laureate. [laughter] mr. meacham: and he loved the story of how, when her eldest son, the 43rd president of the united states, took up painting, his instructor asked him if he had ever used the color burnt umber. no, 43 replied, but he did remember that from his mother's cooking. [laughter] mr. meacham: brings down the house, she would say, approvingly. mother and son needled each other to the end. in her final days, while the 43rd president was visiting, mrs. bush asked one of her doctors if you would like to know why george w. had turned out the way he had. then she announced, i smoked and drank while i was pregnant.
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[laughter] mr. meacham: she was a point of light. in 1989 when many americans lived in ignorance about hiv/aids, mrs. bush went to a home for infected infants and hugged the children there, as well as an adult male patient. the images sent a powerful message, one of compassion, of love, and acceptance. she believed literacy a fundamental civil and human right and gave the cause her all. at a televised event commemorating the bicentennial of the constitution, mrs. bush met a man named jt pace, the 63-year-old son of a former sharecropper. mr. pace, who had only recently become literate, was scheduled to read the constitution's
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preamble aloud. backstage, he was nervous. mrs. bush asked if it would help if they read it together on the broadcast. mr. pace agreed. soon the two of them stood on stage, reading in unison. as mr. pace grew comfortable, mrs. bush lowered her voice and lowered it again and then again, until at last jt pace was reading entirely on his own. he wept and he read, supported by barbara bush, who stood to his side, now silent. her work was done when his voice spoke of the unending search for a more perfect union. jt pace had found his voice, not least because barbara bush had lent him her heart.
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just last summer on a sunny day on the bush's porch in maine, talk turned to world war ii and the terrible saturday when on september 2, 1944 george herbert walker bush was shot down on a bombing raid. two of his crewmates did not make it, becoming casualties of war. lieutenant bush parachuted out of the bomber, plunged into the sea, came up to the surface, flopped onto a life raft, and waited, scared and retching. had young bush been captured by the japanese, he would have been held captive on an island that was home to horrific war crimes, including cannibalism. bar, he would say in later years, i could have been an hors d'oeuvre. [laughter]
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mr. meacham: in truth, it had been the closest of calls. she told george, in great old age, lost in reminiscence -- you must have been saved for a reason. i know there had to be a reason. president bush sat silently for the briefest of moments, then raised that big left-hand and pointed his finger across the table at his wife. you, he said hoarsely, you were the reason. gov. bush: as i stand here today to share a few words about my mom, i feel her looming presence
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behind me, and i know exactly what she is thinking right now. jeb, keep it short. don't drag this out. people have heard enough remarks already. and most of all, don't get weepy. remember, i spent decades laughing and living a life with these people, and that is true. barbara bush filled our lives with laughter and joy, and in the case of our family, she was our teacher and role model on how to live a life of purpose and meaning. on behalf of our family, we want to thank the thousands and thousands of expressions of condolence and love for our precious mother. we want to thank mom's caregivers for their compassionate care in the last months of her life. i want to thank neil and maria for their next-door-family love of our parents, and thank john and susan for their elegant words. meacham, you might have been a little long, but it was beautiful. [laughter]
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gov. bush: we want to thank russ and laura for their friendship and pastoral care of our parents, and we want to thank all who are gathered here to celebrate the life of barbara bush. it is appropriate to express gratitude, because we learned to do that at a very early age. you see, our mom was our first and most important teacher. sit up, look people in the eye, say please and thank you, do your homework, quit whining and stop complaining, eat your broccoli. yes, dad, she said that. [laughter] gov. bush: the little things we learned became habits, and they lead to bigger things, like be kind, always tell the truth, never disparage anyone, serve others, treat everyone as you would want to be treated, and love your god with your heart and soul. what a blessing to have a teacher like that 24/7.
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now, to be clear, her students were not perfect. [laughter] gov. bush: that's an understatement. mom got us through difficult times with consistent, take it to the bank, unconditional, but tough love. she called her style the benevolent dictatorship, but honestly, it wasn't always benevolent. [laughter] gov. bush: when our children got a little older, they would spend more time visiting their gampy and ganny. all it would take would be one week, and when they came home, all of a sudden they were pitching in around the house. they didn't fight as much and all of a sudden they were nice to be with. [laughter] gov. bush: i attribute this to the unbridled fear of the ganny lecture and the habit-forming effects of better behavior taking hold. even in her 90's, mom could strike fear into her grandchildren, nephews, nieces, and her children if someone did not behave. there were no safe spaces or micro aggressions allowed with
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barbara pierce bush. [laughter] gov. bush: but in the end, every grandchild knew their ganny loved them. we learned a lot more from our mom and our ganny. we learned not to take ourselves too seriously. we learned that humor is a joy that should be shared. some of my greatest memories are participating in our family dinners when mom would get into it, most of the time with george w., and have us all laughing to tears. we learned to be authentic by the best role model in the world. her authentic plastic pearls, her not coloring her hair. by the way, she was beautiful until the day she died. her hugging of an hiv/aids patient at a time her own mother would not do it. her standing by her man with a little rhyming poetry in the 1984 election. in a thousand other ways barbara pierce bush was real, and that is why people admired and loved her so.
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finally, our family had a front row seat for the most amazing love story. through a multitude of moves, from new haven, odessa, ventura to bakersfield, to compton, to midland, to houston, to d.c., to new york, back to houston and kennebunkport -- phew -- their love was a constant in our lives. my dad is a phenomenal letter writer and would write mom on their wedding anniversary, which totaled an amazing 73 years. here is one of them written on january 6, 1994. "will you marry me? oops, i forgot we did that 49 years ago." [laughter] gov. bush: "i was very happy on that day in 1945, but i'm even happier today. you have given me joy that few men know. you have made our boys into men by bawling them out and then, right away, by loving them. you helped our daughter be the sweetest, greatest daughter in the whole wide world. i have climbed perhaps the
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highest mountain in the world, but even that cannot hold a candle to being barbara's husband. mom used to tell me, george, do not walk ahead. little did she know, i was only trying to keep up with barbara pierce from rye, new york. i love you." the last time my mom went into the hospital, i think dad got sick on purpose so he could be with her. that is my theory, at least, because literally a day later he showed up with an illness. [laughter] gov. bush: he came into her room when she was sleeping and held her hand. his hair was standing straight up. he had on a mask to improve his breathing. he was wearing a hospital gown. in other words, he looked like hell. [laughter] gov. bush: mom opened her eyes and said, my god, george, you are devastatingly handsome. [laughter] gov. bush: every nurse, doctor, staffer had to run to the hallway because they started crying. i hope you can see why we think
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our mom and our dad are teachers and models for our entire family and for many others. finally, the last time i was with her, i asked her about dying. was she ready to go? was she sad? without missing a beat, she said, i believe in jesus and he is my savior. i do not want to leave your dad, but i know i will be in a beautiful place. mom, we look forward to being with you and robin and all of god's children. we love you. announcer: arizona republican senator john mccain died on august 25, just over a year after being diagnosed with brain cancer. prior to his funeral at the national cathedral, friends and family gathered for a memorial service at north phoenix baptist church in arizona. mr. woods: i was 28 years old and had only been a public defender.
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i was a few years out of law school. for some reason, john mccain asked me to be his chief of staff when he got elected. on my first day at 7:00 a.m., john mccain picked me up at my house. i went to the car and said, do you want me to drive? he said, no, i am going to drive. i said, well, maybe i can sit in the back seat. [laughter] mr. woods: i am no expert on this, because i thought the staff drove. he said, no, get in the car, boy. for the next half hour, we talked about the football game the day before and whatever was in the news and politics and told a few jokes. it was really a lot of fun and also quite terrifying because of his ridiculously bad driving. [laughter] mr. woods: when he got excited -- he drove like this anyway -- and then he would get excited
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and start drifting off. we finally got where we were going. i said, by the way, what are we doing? he said, i hired the whole staff and i want you to meet them. ok, that's good. [laughter] mr. woods: we met the staff and went back to the car. all the staff came out and they were all waving. i said, they seem to be very nice. he said, you are going to have to fire half of them. [laughter] mr. woods: what are you talking about? he just sped off. staff was waving. about one minute later, we went right back by because he had gone the wrong way, of course. [laughter] mr. woods: waved again. i say that two hours epitomized the next 35 years for me with john mccain. it was at once harrowing, wild,
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crazy, but a lot of fun and the greatest honor of my life. people ask me all the time, did you ever know in those early years, did you have a feeling there was someone so special there? my answer is absolutely, no question. the first time was a december in my hometown of mesa, arizona. we were in a rotary club. i think it was all men at that time. these are tough guys, kind of cynical about things, and here is this new guy in town. one of them asked him, what about christmas in prison? he told them a couple of stories. he told them about one night when he was being interrogated for quite a long time and it did not go too well for his captors. they were upset with him. they tied him up, tied the ropes
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tight, and left him there for the night. some guard came in who he did not know and had never spoken to. at 10:00 a.m., the guard loosened the ropes. at about 4:00 a.m., the guard came back and tightened them again so he would not get in trouble. john did not know why that happened, but he found out a clue a couple weeks later, christmas, when he was standing in the dirt yard and that guard walked up next to them. the guard did not say a word, but with his sandal -- he drew a cross in the dirt. they looked at it for a minute and then the guard rubbed it out and went on his way. and it was quiet in that room when john told that.
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then he said, you know, on christmas eve we celebrated, and we got together under this bare lightbulb and we sang christmas carols and we quoted bible verses that we could remember and we told the gospel story to each other. and i guess just that image of this band of brothers together in this godforsaken place, singing to each other, and there at the front, our guy, john mccain, beaten up but not down, singing his favorite christmas carol. silent night, holy night, all is calm, all is bright. round yon virgin, mother and
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child, holy infant, so tender and mild. the words seemed so far away from that place, but they leaned on the faith of their fathers and their faith in each other and their faith in their country and their faith in god. i looked out into the audience in my hometown, and those were some of my peers and the peers of my parents. those are tough, independent guys, ranchers and farmers, some cowboys, businessmen, entrepreneurs, and they were crying. because they saw in john mccain a little bit of what they hoped to see in themselves. they saw in john mccain the embodiment of values that they hoped to see for their country. over the next few months and years, john got to know this
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place, and he fell in love with arizona. he loved the people, our diversity, our native american community, our hispanic culture, and he loved the place. in particular, the grand canyon. the colorado river. we floated down that twice together, and then he kept going back and back. he loved it. he hiked the canyon with jack not that long ago, rim to rim. he loved sedona. he loved this place. and if john mccain fell in love with arizona, arizona fell in love with john mccain. we ran a lot of races here, a lot of elections. he never lost. never really very close. arizona loved him. we had one little blip one time when he ran for the senate the first time.
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he called me on the phone, he goes, boy, i think i might have screwed up. he said, you know, i was talking to these students at u of a and they said, how come you are the only politician who comes down here? they only come to retirement places. he said, it is because you guys don't vote. [laughter] mr. woods: those other dudes vote like 100%, so, you know, you want people to come down here, you need to vote like they vote out in seizure world. [laughter] mr. woods: i said, you didn't say that, did you? because there is this big retirement community called leisure world in the east valley. they were not real happy with their new nickname out there. so john said, like he always does, ok, i screwed up. we got to go out there. we. [laughter]
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mr. woods: so we went out, and i remember we drove in. there was about a 90-year-old guy in a golf cart giving us the finger. [laughter] mr. woods: little did he know, we both said, that's great. we loved it. john is like, good to see you, thank you. we went in, he said, sorry about that, and went to work. and guess what? i think he won by about 85-15 in that election, that precinct. we are going to miss so many things about him here in our state. his leadership in these important issues. we are going to miss his sense of humor, his love of sports. he loved the teams. all of our teams. by love them, i mean love them, like nonstop. and he loved you guys, fitz and gonzo and shane, he really did.
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not a coincidence. he did not become friends just with the best players, but with the best people. he loved you guys. we also worry in arizona about the bigger picture, and i hope that what he stood for will maybe get a renewed look in our country. that's what he would want. we recognize him now, but now let's get to work. i'm sure the vice president will talk about john and bipartisanship. he believed so much that in the end, when it is all said and done, this republican and democrat thing is not that important. we are all americans and we have to get to the point where we can work together as americans. his support of the military. i hope you members of congress will keep that strong. it was so important that he had their backs. and one other thing.
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john mccain believed in our constitution, and he stood up for it. he fought for it every step of the way. so he would not stand by as people tried to trample the constitution or the bill of rights, including the first amendment. and you know what? he believed in the declaration of independence, when we proclaimed to the world that every single human being is important, every single human being is precious, every single person in this world has the right to live free. not because the government says so, but because god gave us that right. so john mccain, his entire life, stood by the freedom fighters across the world. he was there. he was there figuratively and literally, by their side wherever they were, acknowledging their right to live free. it's -- it's a long and winding
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road that took him from that dirt yard in hanoi to the dirt back roads of hidden valley. but through it all, he was resolute. he was courageous every step of the way. and in arizona, he was our hero. i think you can see from this outpouring of support and love for john mccain that he was america's hero. senator john mccain from arizona. he served his country with honor. he fought the good fight. he finished the race. he kept the faith.
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now, my friend, we can finish the song. "sleep in heavenly peace. sleep in heavenly peace." amen. [applause] vp biden: my name is joe biden. [laughter] vp biden: i am a democrat. [laughter] vp biden: and i love john mccain. i have had the dubious honor over the years of giving some
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eulogies for fine women and men that i have admired. but this one is hard. the three men who have spoken before me i think captured john, different aspects of john, in a way that only someone close to him could understand. but the way i look at it, the way i thought about it, was i always thought of john as a brother. we had a lot of family fights. [laughter] vp biden: we go back a long way. i was a young united states senator. i got elected when i was 29 and had the dubious distinction of
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being put on the foreign relations committee. the next youngest person was 14 years older than me. i spent a lot of time traveling the world because i was assigned responsibility. my colleagues in the senate know i was chairman of the european affairs subcommittee, so i spent a lot of time with nato and in the soviet union. along came a guy a couple of years later, a guy i knew of, admired from afar. your husband, who had been a prisoner of war, who had endured enormous pain and suffering and demonstrated the code, the mccain code.
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people don't think much about it today, but imagine having already known the pain you are likely to endure and being offered the opportunity to go home and saying no. as his son can tell you, the navy -- last one in, last one out. so i knew john. and john became the navy liaison officer in the united states senate. there is an office that used to be on the basement floor of members of the military who are assigned to senators when they travel abroad to meet with heads of state and other foreign dignitaries. john had been recently released from the hanoi hilton, a genuine hero, and he became the navy liaison.
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for some reason, we hit it off from the beginning. we were both full of dreams and ambitions. an overwhelming desire to make the time we had there worthwhile, to try to do the right thing, to think about how we could make things better for the country we love so much. and john and i ended up traveling. every time i went anywhere, i took john with me, or he took me with him. china, japan, france, turkey, all over the world, tens of thousands of miles. we would sit on that plane late in the night when everyone else was asleep and just talk, getting to know one another. we would talk about family. we would talk about politics.
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we would talk about international relations. we would talk about promise, the promise of america, because we were both cockeyed optimists and really believed there is not a single thing beyond the capacity of this country -- for real, not a single thing. and when you get to know another woman or man, you get to know their hopes and fears. you get to know their family before you meet them. you get to know how they feel about the important things. we talked about everything except captivity and the loss of my family, which had just occurred. my wife and daughter. the only two things we did not talk about. but i found that it wasn't too long into john's duties that jill and i got married. jill is with me today.
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five years i had been a single dad. and no man deserves one great love, let alone two. i met jill, who changed my life. and she fell in love with him and he with her. he would always call her -- as lindsey later would travel with us -- he would call her jillie. matter of fact, when they would get bored being with me on these trips -- i remember going to greece. he said, why don't i just take jill to dinner? i later learned they were down at a cafe on the port and he has her dancing on top of a cement table drinking ouzo. not a joke. jilly. [laughter] vp biden: but we got to know
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each other well, and he loved my son beau and my son hunt. as a young man, he came up to my house. he would come up to wilmington. out of this grew a great friendship that transcended whatever political differences we had or later developed. because above all -- above all -- we understood the same thing. all politics is personal. it is all about trust. i trusted john with my life, and i think he would trust me with his. we both knew then from our different experiences -- and as our life progressed we learned even more -- that there are times when life can be so cruel, pain so blinding, it is hard to see anything else.
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the disease that took john's life took our mutual friend's teddy's life, the exact same disease, nine years ago. and three years ago, it took my beautiful son beau's life. it is brutal, relentless, unforgiving. and it takes so much from those we love and from the families who love them that in order to survive, we have to remember how they lived, not how they died. i carry me with me an image of beau, sitting out on the little lake we live on, starting the motor of the boat, smiling and waving. not the last days. i am sure vicki kennedy has her own image, maybe seeing teddy
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looking so alive on that sailboat out in the cape. and for the family, for the family, you will find your own images, whether it is remembering his smile or his laugh or a touch on the shoulder or rubbing his hand on your cheek. or just feeling like you can turn and see him just smiling at you from a distance, just looking at you. or when you saw the sheer joy that crossed his face the moment he knew he was about to take the stage on the senate floor and start a fight. [laughter] vp biden: god, he loved it. [laughter] vp biden: so to cindy and the kids, doug, andy. cindy, megan, jack, jimmy, bridget. i know she is not here, but to mrs. mccain.
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we know how difficult it is to bury a child. my heart goes out to you. and i know right now the pain you all are feeling is so sharp and so hollowing. john's absence is so consuming for you right now, it is like being sucked into a black hole inside your chest. it is frightening. but i know something else, unfortunately from experience. the there is nothing anyone can say or do to ease the pain right now. but i pray you take some comfort knowing that because you shared john with all of us your whole life, the world now shares with you the ache of john's death.
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look around this magnificent church. look what you saw at the state capital yesterday. it was hard to stand there, but part of it was -- at least it was for me with beau in the state capital -- you knew it was genuine, it was deep. he touched so many lives. and i have gotten calls, not just because people know we were friends, not just from people around the country, but leaders around the world calling me. i am getting all these sympathy letters. i mean, hundreds of them, and tweets. character is destiny.
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john had character. while others will miss his leadership and his passion, even his stubbornness, you are going to miss that hand on your shoulder. the family, you are going to miss the man, the faithful man, as he was, who you knew would literally give his life for you. and for that, there is no balm but time. time and your memories of a life lived well and lived fully. but i make you a promise. i promise you, the time will come -- because what is going to happen is six months will go by and everybody is going to think,
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well, it is past. but you are going to ride by that field or smell that fragrance or see that flashing image, and you are going to feel the way you did when you got the news. but you know you are going to make it when the image of your dad, your husband, your friend crosses your mind and a smile comes to your lips before a tear to your eye. that is when you know. and i promise you, i give you my word, i promise you, this i know -- that day will come. that day will come. you know, i am sure my former colleagues and all who worked with john -- i am sure there is
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people who have said to you, not only now but the last 10 years -- explain this guy to me. right? explain this guy to me. because as they looked at him, in one sense they admired him, but in one sense, the way things have changed so much in america, they looked at him as if john came from another age. he lived by another code, an ancient, antiquated code where honor, courage, character, integrity, duty. it was obvious how john lived his life. the truth is, john's code was ageless. is ageless. when you talked earlier, grant, you talked about values. it wasn't about politics with john.
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you can disagree on substance, but the underlying values that animated everything john did, everything he was. you could come to a different conclusion. he would part company with you if you lacked the basic values of decency, respect, knowing that this project is bigger than yourself. john's story is the american story. that is not hyperbole. it is the american story. grounded in respect and decency, basic fairness. the intolerance for the abuse of power. many of you travel the world. look how the rest of the world
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looks at us. they look at us as naive. we are so fair, we are so decent. we are the naive americans. but that is who we are. that's who john was. and he could not stand the abuse of power wherever he saw it, in whatever form and whatever country. he was always about basic values, john, fairness, honesty, dignity, respect. giving hate no safe harbor. leaving no one behind. and understanding as americans we are part of something much bigger than ourselves. with john, it was a value set that was neither selfish nor self-serving. john understood that america was
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first and foremost an idea. audacious and risky, organized around not tribe but around ideals. think about how he approached every issue. the ideals americans have rallied around for over 200 years, the ideals the world has repaired to, ideals enshrined in the constitution. sounds corny. we hold these truths self-evident, that all men are created equal, endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights. to john, those words had meaning, as they had for every great patriot that has ever served this country. we both loved the senate.
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proudest years of my life were being a united states senator. i was honored to be vice president, but being a united states senator. we both lamented watching a change. during long debates in the 1980's and 1990's -- some of the colleagues around then would know -- i would always sit next to john or he would come over on the democratic side and sit next to me. no, i am not joking. because we would sit there and talk to each other. i can remember the day when i came out to see john, we reminisced about it. it was in 1996 and we were about to adjourn for the caucuses. there is a luncheon once a week where all the democratic senators have lunch together and all the republican senators. we both went into our caucus and, coincidentally, we were approached by our caucus leaders with the same thing.
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joe, it doesn't look good, you sitting next to john all the time. [laughter] vp biden: i swear to god, same thing was said to john in your caucus. [laughter] vp biden: that is when things began to change for the worse in america in the senate. that is when it changed. what happened was at those times it was always appropriate to challenge another senator's judgment, but never appropriate to challenge their motive. when you challenge their motive, it is impossible to get to go. if i say you are doing this because you are being paid off, because you are not a good christian, because you are this, that, or the other -- it is impossible to reach consensus. think about your personal lives.
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but all we do today is attack the opposition in both parties, their motives, not the substance of the argument. this is the mid-1990's. it began to go downhill from there. the last day john was on the senate floor, what was he fighting to do? he was fighting to restore what we called regular order. just how to treat one another again like we used to. the senate was never perfect, john, you know that. we were there a long time together. but i want teddy kennedy and james eastman fight like hell on civil rights, and they would go to lunch together down in the senate dining room.
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john wanted to see "regular order" writ large. get to know one another. john and i were both amused, and i think lindsey was at one of these events, where john and i received two prestigious awards -- last year i was vice president and one immediately after -- for our dignity and respect we showed to one another. we received an award for civility in public life. there is a college -- allegheny college puts out this prestigious award every year for bipartisanship. john and i looked at each other and said, what in the hell is going on here? [laughter] vp biden: no, not a joke. i said to senator flake, that is how it is supposed to be. you are getting an award? i am serious. think about this.
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getting an award for your civility. getting an award for bipartisanship. classic john went to allegheny college -- hundreds of people there -- we got the award, and the senate was in session, so he spoke first. as he walked off the stage and i walked on, he said, joe, don't take it personally, but i just don't want to hear what the hell you have to say. and left. [laughter] vp biden: one of john's major campaign people is now with the senate with the governor of ohio. he was on this morning and i happened to watch it. he said biden-mccain had this strange relationship where they always seemed to have each
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other's back. when i was in trouble, john was always the first guy there, and i hope i was there for him. we never hesitated to give each other advice. he would call me in the middle of the campaign, say, what the hell did you say that for? wasn't on an issue. just you just screwed up, joe. i would occasionally call him. look, i have been thinking this week about why john's death has hit the country so hard. yes, he was a long serving senator with a remarkable record. yes, he was a two-time presidential candidate who captured the support and imagination of the american people. and yes, john was a war hero who demonstrated extraordinary courage. i think of john and i must say my son when i think of ingersoll's words, "when the will defies fear, when duty throws the gauntlet down to fate, when honor scorns to compromise with death, that is heroism."
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everybody knows that about john. but i don't think it fully explains why the country has been so taken by john's passing. i think it is something more intangible. i think it is because they knew john believed so deeply and so passionately in the soul of america. that he made it easier for them to have confidence and faith in america. his faith in the core values of the nation made them somehow feel it more genuinely themselves. his conviction that we as a country would never walk away
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from the sacrifices generations of americans have made to defend liberty and freedom and human dignity around the world made average americans proud of themselves and their country. that do anything -- that americans can do anything, ultimatelything, was reassuring that this man believed that so strongly. arecapacity that we truly , thatrld's last best hope there are principles greater than ourselves that we are sacrificing for and if necessary dying for. americans saw how they lived his
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life that way and they knew the truth of what he was saying. americansnk he gave confidence. john was a hero. honor,racter, courage, integrity. i think the thing understated most is his optimism. that is what made john special, a john didn't believe that america's future and fate rested on heroes. what he talked about and i liked most about him is that he understood what i think we all remember. heroes did not build this country. ordinary people given half a chance are capable of doing extraordinary things. extraordinary things.
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john knew ordinary americans understood that each of us had a duty to defend the integrity of -- the integrity, dignity, and birthright of every child. is built bymmunity thousands of small acts of decency that americans, as i speak today, show each other every single day. very deep in the dna of this nation's soul lies a flame that each of us carries with us the capacity, the responsibility, and we can screw up the courage to ensure that is not extinguished. it is 1000 little things that make us different. bottom-line was i think john believed in us. i think he believed in the american people, not just all the preambles, the constitution.
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he believed in the american people. all 325 million of us. even though john is no longer with us, he left us pretty clear instructions. believe always in the promise and greatness of america because nothing is inevitable here. close to the last thing john said to the whole nation as he knew he was about to depart. that is what he wanted america to understand. not to build his legacy. he wanted america to remind him, to understand. i think john's legacy is going to continue to inspire and challenge generations of leaders as they stepped forward, and john mccain's impact on america is not over. that is not hyperbole. it is not over. i do not think it is even close.
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john owed so much of what he was to you. when i was with you both, i could just see how he looked at you. jill is the one when we were in hawaii, he first met you there. he kept staring at you and jill finally said, go up and talk to her. and andy, you may not have had your father as long as you would have liked, but you got from him everything you need to pursue your own dreams, to follow the course of your own spirit. you are a living legacy. that is not hyperbole. you are a living legacy and proof of john mccain's success. john is going to take his
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rightful place in a long line of extraordinary leaders in this nation's history, who in their time and in their way stood for freedom and stood for liberty. and have made the american story the most improbable and the most hopeful and the most enduring story on earth. i know john said he hoped he played a small part in that story. john, you did much more than that, my friend. to paraphrase shakespeare, we shall not see his like again. [applause] >> former president george h.w. bush died on november 30 at the age of 94 and was laid to rest next to barbara bush and their daughter, robin, who died at age three after being diagnosed with leukemia.
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ceremonies for president bush took place at the u.s. capitol, the national cathedral, and the bush family church in houston. >> the story was almost over, even before it had fully begun. shortly after dawn on saturday, september 2, 1994, georgia -- george herbert walker bush,
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joined by two crewmates, took off from the uss san jacinto to attack a radio tower. the air was heavy with flak. the plane was hit. smoke filled the cockpit, flames raced across the wings. my god, lieutenant bush thought, this thing is going to go down. yet he kept the plane in a 35 degree dive, dropped his bombs, and then roared off out to sea, telling his crewmates to hit the silk. following protocol, lieutenant bush turned the plane so they could bail out. only then did bush parachute from the cockpit. the wind propelled him backward, and he gashed his head on the tail of the plane as he flew through the sky.
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he plunged deep into the ocean andbbed to the surface, flopped onto a tiny raft. his head bleeding, his eyes burning, his mouth and throat raw from salt water. the future 41st president of the united states was alone. sensing that his men had not made it, he was overcome. he felt the weight of responsibility as a nearly physical burden. and he wept. then, at four minutes shy of noon, a submarine emerged to rescue the downed pilot. george herbert walker bush was safe. the story, his story, and ours, would go on by god's grace.
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president bush would frequently ask, nearly daily, he would ask himself "why me? why was i spared?" and in a sense, the rest of his life was a perennial effort to prove himself worthy of his salvation on that distant morning. to him, his life was no longer his own. there were always more missions to undertake, more lives to touch, and more love to give. what a headlong race he made of it all. he never slowed down. on the primary campaign trail in new hampshire once, he grabbed
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the hand of a department store mannequin, asking for votes. [applause] >> when he realized his mistake, he said "you never know. got to ask." [laughter] >> you can year the voice, can't you? as dana carvey said, the key to a bush 41 impersonation is mr. rogers trying to be john wayne. [laughter] >> george herbert walker bush was america's last great soldier statesman. a 20th century founding father. he governed with virtues that most closely resembled those of washington and of adams, of tr and of fdr, of truman, and of eisenhower. of men who believed in causes larger than themselves.
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6'2", handsome, dominant in person, president bush spoke with those big, strong hands, making fists to underscore points. a master of what franklin roosevelt called the science of human relationships. he believed that when much is he believed that to who much is given, much is expected, and -- he believed that to who much is given, much is expected, and because life gave him so much, he gave back again and again and again. he stood in the breach in the cold war against totalitarianism. he stood in the breach in washington against unthinking partisanship. he stood in the breach against tyranny and discrimination, and on his watch, a wall fell in berlin. a dictator's aggression did not stand, and doors across america
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opened to those with disabilities. and in his personal life, he stood in the breach against heartbreak and hurt. always offering an outstretched hand, a warm word, a sympathetic cheer. -- a sympathetic tear. if you were down, he would rush to lift you up. if you were soaring, he would rush to savor your success. strong and gracious, comforting and charming, loving and loyal, he was our shield in dangerous hours.
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there was ambition, to you. to serve, he had to succeed. to preside, he had to prevail. politics, he once admitted, is not a pure undertaking, not if you want to win, it is not. an imperfect man, he left us a more perfect union. it must be said that for a keenly intelligent statesman of stirring, almost unparalleled private eloquence, public speaking was not exactly a strong suit. fluency in english, president bush 13 marked, is something that i am often not accused of, . looking ahead to the 1988 election, he observed, inarguably, it is no exaggeration to say that the
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undecideds could go one way or the other. [laughter] >> and late in his presidency, he allowed that we are enjoying sluggish times, but we are not enjoying them very much. [laughter] >> his tongue may have run amok at moments, but his heart was steadfast. his life code was tell the , beh, don't blame people best, try hard, forgive, and stay the course. and that was, and is, the most american of creeds. abraham lincoln's better angels of our nature, and george h.w. bush's thousand points of light are companion verses in america's national hymn. for lincoln and bush, both called on us to choose the right
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over the convenience, to hope rather than to fear, and to heed not our worst impulses but our best instincts. in his work, he had the most wonderful of allies in barbara pierce bush, his wife of 73 years. he called her barb, the silver fox, and when the situation warranted, the enforcer. he was the only boy you ever -- he was the only boy she ever kissed. her children, mrs. bush like to say, always wanted to throw up when they heard that. in a letter to barbara during the war, young george h.w. bush had written "i love you, precious, with all my heart, and to know that you loved me means my life. how lucky our children will be
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to have a mother like you, and as they will tell you, they surely were. as vice president, bush once visited a children's leukemia ward in krakow. 35 years before, he and barbara had lost a daughter, robin, to the disease. in krakow, a small boy wanted to greet the american vice president. learning that the child was sick with cancer that had taken robin, bush began to cry. to his diary later that day, the vice president said this. "my eyes flooded with tears. and behind me was a bank of television cameras, and i thought, i cannot turn around. i can't dissolve because of personal tragedy in the face of the nurses that give of
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themselves every day, so i stood there looking at this little guy, tears running down my cheek, hoping he would not see, but if he did, hoping he would feel that i loved him. that was the real george h.w. bush, a loving man, with a big, vibrant, all enveloping heart. and so, we ask as we commend his soul to god, and as he did, why him? why was he spared? the workings of providence are mysterious, but this much is clear. the george herbert walker bush
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who survived that fiery fall into the waters of the pacific three quarters of a century ago made our lives and the lives of nations freer, better, warmer, and nobler. that was his mission. that was his heartbeat. and if we listen closely enough, we can hear that heartbeat even now. for it is the heartbeat of a lion. a lion who not only let us, but -- a lion who not only led us, but who loved us. that is why him. that is why he was spared.
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>> george told me i only have 10 minutes. [laughter] >> he was very direct about it. it wasn't even funny. [laughter] >> i first met my friend, my dear friend, george bush, in 1962. when my father, millard simpson, was a member of the united states senate. just elected. i came to washington to settle in his new office, being vacated by senator prescott bush. george's father. we met again when my parents left and sold their home to a brand spanking new congressman from texas named george herbert walker bush. george and barbara, mom-and-pop,
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did that handshake. sound familiar? i came to the senate in 1978. soon after that, ronald reagan cornered me and asked me to support him for president. i said i would, not knowing that my friend george would enter the fray. hearing that, i called and i said george, i want to tell you i would love to help, but i already committed to ronald reagan. george's response, well, i am sorry about that. i probably should have let you know sooner. actually, a guy does not get many calls from a friend who says they cannot support him. sound familiar? of course it does. because in george bush's theme of life, during all the highs and lows, there is a simple credo. what would we do without family
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and friends? and when he became vice president, our friendship was refreshed and the four of us had many, many pleasant times together. my life in austin was rather tumultuous. i went from the "a" social list to the "b." and i never came back to the "a." [laughter] mr. simpson: in one dark period, i was feeling awful low, and all my wounds were self-inflicted. all of them. and george called me early one morning, always early in the morning, country music playing in the background, and he said, i see the media is shooting you pretty full of holes. actually, he said it a bit more
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pungently than that. and he said why don't we go to camp david? come over and we will have a weekend together. at that time, his popularity rating was 93%. mine was .93%. [laughter] >> so off we went. the media of course all gathered as we headed to marine one. george said, now wave to your pals over there in the media, al. and they did not wait back. next morning, he is going through all the papers in the u.s. and he looks up and he says here is the one i have been looking for. a section of barbara and anne, and george, and later, we are having a sauna, and i said, george, i am not unmindful as to what you are doing. you are propping up your old wounded duck pal.
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while you are at the top of your game, you reach out to me while i am tangled in rich controversy and taking my lumps, and he said , "yup." [laughter] mr. simpson: there were staff members who told me not to do this. this is about friendship and loyalty. sound familiar? i had an awful lot of fun, too. always a delight to be in the president's box at the kennedy center, off to play at the national theater of the warner with the bushes. outside of the president's box one evening, there was a massive six foot vase with an extraordinary glaze. i hope you
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know the difference between a "vayse" and a "voz." $35. george walked up to it and i said, i think that is etruscan. glaze couldayish only be found during that era. i said, no, no, george. the patina gives me the perception it was possibly older. perhaps of greek origin. for that particular paste before firing. people gathered around mumbling about these expert observers, and barbara and anne finally came by and said, get out of here. both of you. get back to the box. well, we did. well, it was impressive for a while, and then of course, we went to see michael crawford, singing the songs of andrew lloyd weber.
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all four of us were singing as we went back to the white house. "don't cry for me, argentina." and tidbits from phantom of the opera and other magic of webber. a few days later, he was getting hammered by the press, and suddenly, he sings out, "don't cry for me, argentina." press wrote that he was finally losing his marbles. these honored guests right here before us who have held this noble post know well of the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. he was a class act from birth to death. he held the strong sinews in mind and body, gained from the extraordinary mother.
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we compared our mothers as velvet hammers and certainly most awesome fathers. the history books will and are treating him most fairly. while uncovering some other powerful traits, his great competitiveness, his raw courage, and his self discipline. congressional participants drafted a remarkable bill that dealt with two-year budgeting, entitlement reform, comprehensive and catastrophic health care, social security solvency, and much more. but it required the critical ingredient called revenue. translated into the word taxes, translated into the words "read
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my lips." and the group went to george and said, look, we can get this package done, but we must have some revenue, and he said -- i will never forget -- he said, what i have said on that subject sure puts a hell of a lot of heat on me. and then we all said yes, we can get it done, and it will be bipartisan. and george said, ok, go for it, but it will be a real punch in the gut. a loyal warrior for george took it back to the senate and we won a very strong bipartisan vote. he went over to the house for his own party who turned on him. surely, one of the main factors ensuring his return to private life. but he often said, when the really tough choices come, it is the country, not me. it's not about democrats or
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republicans. it is for our country that i have fought for. he was a man of such great humility. those who travel the high road of humility in washington, d.c., are not bothered by heavy traffic. [laughter] mr. simpson: and he had a very serious flaw, known by all close to him. he loved a good joke. the richer, the better. he threw his head back and gave a great laugh, but he never, ever could remember a punchline. [laughter] mr. simpson: and i mean never. so the punch line for george herbert walker bush is this -- you would have wanted him on your side. he never lost his sense of humor.
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humor is the universal solvent against the abrasive elements of life. that is what humor is. he never hated anyone. he knew what his mother and my mother always knew. hatred corrodes the container it is carried in. most decent and honorable person i ever met was my friend, george bush. one of nature's nobleman. his epitaph, perhaps a single letter, the letter "l" for loyalty. it coursed through his blood. loyalty to his family, to his friends, to his country institutions of government, and , to the always, always, always, a friend to his friends. none of us were ready for this day. we mourned his loss from our own lives, and what he was to each of us. that is so personal, so intimate, so down inside.
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he would have been so much easier to celebrate his life with him here. but he is gone, irrevocably gone. and now, we would have -- upon him. we shall always retain his memory in our hearts. god has come to take him back. we all knew on one unknown day, he would return to his god. now, we give him up. we commend him to your loving hands. thank you for him. god rest his soul. >> distinguished guests, including our presidents and
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first ladies, government officials, dignitaries, and friends, we and our families thank you for being here. the idea is to die young as late as possible, i once heard it said. at age 85, a favorite pastime of george h.w. bush was firing up his boat, the fidelity, and opening up the engines to fly, joyfully fly, across the atlantic with the secret service boats straining to keep up. [laughter] mr. bush: at age 90, george h.w. bush parachuted out of an aircraft and landed on the grounds of saint ann's by the maine.kennebunkport,
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the church where his mom was married and where he worshiped often. mother liked to say he chose the location just in case the chute did not open. in his 90's, he took great delight when his closest pal, james a. baker, smuggled a bottle of grey goose vodka into his hospital room. apparently it paired well with the stake baker had delivered. to his last day, dad's life was instructive. he taught us how to grow with dignity, humor, and kindness. when the good lord finally called, how to meet him with courage and the joy and promise of what lies ahead. one reason that dad knew how to die young is that he almost did it twice. when he was a teenager, a staph infection nearly took his life.
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a few years later, he was alone in the pacific on a liferaft, praying that his rescuers would find him before the enemy did. god answered those prayers. turns out he had other plans for george h.w. bush. for dad's part, i think those brushes with death made him cherish the gift of life. he vowed to live every day to the fullest. dad was always busy. a man in constant motion. but never too busy to share his love of life with those around him. he taught us to love the outdoors. he loved watching dogs flush a cubbie. he loved landing the elusive striper. and once confined to a wheelchair, he seemed happiest sitting in his favorite perch on the back porch at walker's point, contemplating the majesty of the atlantic.
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the horizons he saw were bright and hopeful. he was a genuinely optimistic man. that optimism guided his children and made each of us believe that anything was possible. he continually broadened his horizons with daring decisions. he was a patriot. after high school, he put college on hold and became a navy fighter pilot as world war ii broke out. like many of his generation, he never talked about his service. until his time as a public figure forced his hand. we learned of the attack, the mission completed, the shootdown. we learned of the death of his crewmates, whom he thought about during his entire life. we learned of the rescue. then another audacious decision,
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he moved his young family from the comforts of the east coast to odessa, texas. he and mom adjusted to their arid surroundings quickly. a tolerant man, he was kind and neighborly to the women with who m he, shared a bathroom in our mom, and i small duplex even after he learned of their profession, ladies of the night. [laughter] mr. bush: dad could relate to people from all walks of life. he was an empathetic man who valued character over pedigree. and he was no cynic. he looked for the good in each person and he usually found it. he taught us that public service is noble and necessary. that one can serve with integrity and hold true to the important values like faith and family. he strongly believed it was important to give back to the
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community and the country in which one lived. he recognized that serving others enriched the soul of the giver. to us, his was the brightest of a thousand points of light. in victory he shared credit, when he lost he shouldered the blame. he accepted that failure is a part of living a full life, but taught us never to be defined by failure. he showed us how setbacks can strengthen. none of his disappointments could compare with one of life's greatest tragedies, the loss of a young child. jeb and i were too young to remember the pain and agony that he and mom felt when our three-year-old sister died. we only learned of later that dad, a man of quiet faith, prayed for her daily. he was sustained by the love of the almighty and the real and
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enduring love of her mom. dad always believed that one day he would hug his precious robin again. he loved to laugh. especially at himself. he could tease and needle but never out of malice. he placed great value on a good joke. that's why he chose simpson to speak. [laughter] mr. bush: on email, he had a circle of friends with whom he shared and received the latest jokes. his grading system for the quality of the joke was classic george bush. the rare sevens and eights were considered huge winners. most of them off color. [laughter] mr. bush: he knew how to be a true and loyal friend.
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he nurtured and honored his many friendships with a generous and giving soul. there exist thousands of handwritten notes encourage, sympathizing, or thanking his friends and acquaintances. he had an enormous capacity to give of himself. many a person would tell you that dad became a mentor and father figure in their life. he listened and consoled, he was their friend. i think of don rhodes, taylor blanton, jim nance, arnold schwarzenegger and perhaps unlikeliest of all, the man who defeated him, bill clinton. my siblings and i refer to the guys in the group as brothers from other mothers. [laughter] mr. bush: he taught us that a day was not to be wasted. he played golf at a legendary pace. i always wondered why he insisted on speed golf. he is a good golfer. here is my conclusion. he played fast so that he could
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move on to the next event, to enjoy the rest of the day and expend his enormous energy. to live at all. he was born with just two settings. full throttle, dead sleep. [laughter] mr. bush: taught us what it means to be a wonderful father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. he was firm in his principles and supportive as we began to seek our own ways. he encouraged and comforted, but never steered. we tested his patience. i know i did. [laughter] mr. bush: but he always responded with a great gift of unconditional love. last friday, when i was told he had minutes to live, i called him. the guy answering the phone said, "i think he can hear you, but he hasn't said anything for most of the day."
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i said, "dad, i love you and you have been a wonderful father." the last words he would ever say on earth were, "i love you, too." to us, he was close to perfect. but not totally perfect. his short game was lousy. [laughter] mr. bush: he wasn't exactly fred astaire on the dance floor. [laughter] mr. bush: the man couldn't stomach vegetables. [laughter] mr. bush: especially broccoli. [laughter] by the way, he passed these genetic defects along to us. [laughter] mr. bush: finally, every day of his 73 years of marriage, he taught us all what it means to be a great husband. he married his sweetheart, he adored her, he laughed and cried with her, he was dedicated to her totally.
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in his old age, dad enjoyed watching police show reruns, the volume on high. [laughter] mr. bush: all the while holding mom's hand. after mom died, dad was strong. all he really wanted to do was hold her hand again. he taught me another special lesson. he showed me what it means to be a president that leads with courage and acts with love in his heart for the citizens of our country. when the history books are written, they will say that george h.w. bush was a great president of the united states. a diplomat of unmatched skill. a commander in chief of formidable accomplishment. a gentleman who executed the duties of his office with
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dignity and honor. in his inaugural address, the 41st president of the united states said that we cannot hope to only leave our children a bigger car and a bigger bank account. we must hope to give them a sense of what it means to be a loyal friend, a loving parent. a citizen who leaves his home and neighborhood and his town better than he found it. what do we want the men and women who work with us to say when we are no longer there? that we were more driven to succeed than anyone around us? or that we stopped to ask that a sick child had gotten better and stayed a moment to trade a word of friendship? well, dad, we will remember you for exactly that and much more. and we are going to miss you. your decency, sincerity, and kind soul will stay with us forever. through our tears let us know the blessings of knowing and loving you, a great and noble man. the best father a son or daughter could have. and in our grief, let us smile knowing that dad is hugging
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robin and holding mom's hand again. [applause] >> my friends, we are here today in the house of the lord to say goodbye to a man of great faith
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and great integrity. a truly beautiful human being. and to honor his noble character, his life of service, and the sweet memories he leaves for his friends, his family, and for our great formation. -- and forever grateful nation. for more than 60 years, george herbert walker bush has been my friend, and he has been my role model. today, as we entrust his soul to heaven, his name to history, and his memory to our hearts, i must begin with an apology. i am about to do something you always hated and that your mother always told you not to do. brag about yourself.
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i will do this because it must be done. and because, as a lawyer, i see that thing beloved by all lawyers, a loophole. [laughter] mr. baker: now, do not brag about yourself. let others point out your virtues, your good points. today, mr. president, i am that other, with the special privilege and joy of sharing your good points. as we have heard, and as we know, george bush was a charter member of the greatest generation. as we gather here to salute him, his incredible service to our nation and the world are already etched in the marble of time. after becoming the youngest naval aviator, he served in increasingly responsible positions on behalf of his country. congressman, ambassador to
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china and to the united nations, director of the cia, and vice president. then, as history will faithfully record, he became one of our nation's finest presidents, and beyond any doubt, our nation's very best one-term president. for millions and millions across the globe, the world became a better place because george bush occupied the white house for four years. he was not considered a skilled speaker. but his deeds were quite eloquent. and he demonstrated their eloquence by carving them into the hard granite of history. they expressed his moral character, and they reflected his decency, his boundless kindness and consideration of others, his determination always to do the right thing, and to do
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that to the very best of his ability. they testify to a life nobly lived. he possessed the classic virtues of our civilization and of his faith. the same virtues that express what is best about this country. these same ideals were known to and they were shared by our founding fathers. george bush was temperate in thought, in word, and in deed. he considered his choices and chose wisely. the berlin wall fell in november, 1989, less than one year into his presidency. it was a remarkable triumph for american foreign policy, as joyous east and west germans danced on the remains of that
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hated wall, george bush could have joined them, metaphorically, and claimed victory for the west, for america, and frankly, for himself. but he did not. he knew better. he understood that humility toward and not humiliation of a fallen adversary was the very best path to peace and reconciliation. and so he was able to unify germany as a member of the north atlantic treaty organization, notwithstanding the initial reservations of france, the united kingdom and the soviet union. thus, the cold war ended, not with a bang, but with the sound of a halyard rattling over a pulley over the kremlin in 1991 as the flag of the soviet union
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was lowered for the very last time. need we ask about george bush's courage? during world war ii, he risked his life in defense of something greater than himself. decades later, when saddam hussein invaded kuwait in august, 1990, and began to brutalize kuwaitis, george bush never wavered. this will not stand, he said, and he got the rest of the world to join him in reversing that aggression. yes, he had the courage of a warrior, but when the time came for prudence, he always maintained the greater courage of a peacemaker. he ended the wars in central america. he signed two nuclear arms reduction treaties and he brought israel and all of its arab neighbors face-to-face for
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the first time, to talk peace. his deeds for his fellow man always spoke for him. give someone else a hand, he would say, and he did. when a friend is hurting, show that you care, he would say. and he did. be kind to people, he would say. and he was. to the parents of a young son lost to cancer, he wrote "i hope you will live the rest of your lives with only happy memories of that wonderful son, who is now safely tucked in, god's loving arms around him." his wish for a kinder, gentler nation was not a cynical political slogan. it came honest and unguarded from his soul.
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after they left the white house, george and barbara bush continued to display their compassion for others. their dedication to the points of light, the barbara bush foundation for literacy, and countless other charities, is a model for all former first families, past, present, and future. to these virtues, we can add one more source of his character, his family. as a friend once put it, george bush believed that family is a source of both personal strength and the values one needs to face life. and of course, history has shown that few families have accomplished as much as his has. barbara wrote the book on how to be a great first lady. his legacy lives on with his children, who have contributed so very much to making our nation great. and who knows what the future
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will bring for his grandchildren and their children? i have always been proud that george bush used to describe our relationship as one of big brother and little brother. he used to say that one of the things he liked best about me was that i would always tell him what i thought, even when i knew he did not want to hear it. then we would have a spirited discussion about that issue. but he had a very effective way of letting me know when the discussion was over. [laughter] mr. baker: he would look at me and say, baker, if you are so smart, why am i president and you're not? [laughter] mr. baker: he was a leader, and he knew it. my hope is that in remembering the life of george herbert walker bush, and in honoring his accomplishments, we will see
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that we are really praising what is best about our nation. the nation that he dearly loved, and whose values he embodied. there is more to say than time permits, and anyway, when measured against the eloquence of george bush's character and life, our words are very inadequate. and so, i conclude these remarks with his words. written some years ago to his old tennis buddy, "we have known each other a long time," he wrote to me, "we have shared joy and sadness, and time has indeed gone swiftly by. now, it races on even faster, and that makes me treasure even more this line of william butler yates about where man's glory begins and ends, namely with friends. my glory is i have you as such a friend."
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to which i reply, "on behalf of his friends here today across america and throughout the world, we rejoice, mr. president, that you are safely tucked in now, and through the ages, with god's loving arms around you, because our glory, george, was to have had you as our president, and as such, a friend. >> you've been watching portions of the memorial and funeral services for barbara bush. senator john mccain, and president george h.w. bush. in can watch these events their entirety at our website, [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2018] >> this week, joined washington
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journal for authors week. on tuesday, author juan williams discusses his book, "what the hell do you have to lose: trumps war on civil rights." wednesday, alan dershowitz on his book, "the case against impeaching donald trump." on friday, author mona chairman with her book, "sex matters." kendzior,author sarah with "the view from flyover country." "americane author of overdose." >> christmas day on c-span, at 11:45 a.m. eastern, a look back at this year's memorial services
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for first lady barbara bush. senator john mccain, and president george h.w. bush. at 3:30 p.m. eastern, admiral william agreement on the future of -- william nick raven on the future of the u.s. military. obama,, president barack former secretary of state james baker, and historian john meacham. mr. obama: if there's a problem around the world, people do not call moscow or beijing, they call washington. even our adversaries expect us to solve problems. with 9:00, a conversation entrepreneurs on women in corporate america. >> we know that women's networks tend to look very female-heavy. tend to berks male-heavy. that is finding your first positions. who do you think wins by the network by the time you get to senior leadership?
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>> c-span, where history unfolds daily. created as aan was public service by america's cable television companies. today, we continue to bring you unfiltered coverage of congress, the white house, the supreme eventsand public policy in washington, d.c., and around the country. c-span is brought to you by your cable and satellite provider. this is day 2 of washington journal's office from around the country. we are doing seven days of what we think are some of the most important books of the year. joining us from new york city is oren cass, a senior fellow at the manhattan institute and the author of the future worker. thank you for joining us this morning to talk ab


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