Saturday, December 01, 2018

George Herbert Walker Bush RIP

George Bush, who died yesterday at the age of 94, was the 41st President of the United States from 1989 to 1992: before that he had been Vice President for eight years, a congressman, Envoy to Beijing, Director of the CIA and chairman of the Republican party. He was the first sitting vice president elected to the top job since Martin Van Buren succeeded Andrew Jackson in 1837.

His very long career in public service began as a teenager when he joined up on his 18th birthday to fight in World War II and became the US navy's youngest fighter pilot. He was decorated for his war service, receiving the Distinguished Flying Cross for an incident in which he completed his attack after his plane had been hit and set aflame by Japanese Anti-Aircraft fire.

He was married to Barbara Bush, who died earlier this year, for seventy-three years. They had
six children, one of whom became, of course, the 43rd President of the United States.
Apparently his last words were to tell his son George W Bush "I love you, too."

As his obituary in the Washington Post put it,

"The last veteran of World War II to serve as president, he was a consummate public servant and a statesman who helped guide the nation and the world out of a four-decade Cold War that had carried the threat of nuclear annihilation. His death, at 94 on Nov. 30, also marked the passing of an era.

Although Mr. Bush served as president nearly three decades ago, his values and ethics seem centuries removed from today’s acrid political culture. His currency of personal connection was the handwritten letter — not the social media blast."

Incidentally one of the interesting things about that obituary, when I skimmed the comments underneath it, was that many of the people who had commented and said they didn't vote for George Bush senior were nearly as nice about him as the people who said they had voted for him.

Her Majesty the Queen and the Prime Minister were among those who sent messages of sympathy and tribute.

Rest in Peace,

No comments: