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Last salute: A guide to George HW Bush’s funeral

Last salute: A guide to George HW Bush’s funeral

December 05, 2018 10:12 AM

WASHINGTON (WHEC/AP) — President George H.W. Bush is getting a national farewell at the Washington National Cathedral before family, friends, presidents and foreign dignitaries.

The nation’s 41st president died Friday at age 94. His wife of 73 years, Barbara, passed away in April.

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Things to know about the event Wednesday:

THE SCHEDULE

Bush’s casket has been lying in state in the U.S. Capitol rotunda since Monday, with a river of mourners passing through around the clock. The viewing comes to a close at 7 a.m. EST Wednesday. The casket and the family will arrive at the cathedral just before 11 a.m., when the service is expected to begin.

HOW TO WATCH

NBC News will have live coverage of the service. Lester Holt and Savannah Guthrie will be joined by Chuck Todd, Andrea Mitchell, Tom Brokaw, and others. Coverage begins at 10 a.m. on News10NBC. You can also watch live coverage below: 

WHO WILL SPEAK

Four men are expected to deliver eulogies. The late president’s son George W. Bush, also a former president; former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, who held the post while the elder Bush was president; former Sen. Alan Simpson, R-Wyo., who has known the Bush family since the 1960s; and historian Jon Meacham, who wrote a Bush biography.

WHO WILL BE THERE

All eyes will be on the row directly in front of the pulpit. That’s where President Donald Trump and his wife, Melania, are expected to sit, along with the remaining former presidents and their families: George W. Bush, Jimmy Carter, Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and his wife — Trump’s 2016 Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton. Trump has had strained relations (at best) with all of them. But since Bush’s death, Trump has extended traditional courtesies to the Bush family, including allowing them to stay at the presidential guest house and visiting with them there.

Also attending: Britain’s Prince Charles, the king and queen of Jordan, Polish President Andrzej Duda and other dignitaries from around the world. Look, too, for some of the graybeards from the late president’s administration.

WHERE TO NEXT

Bush’s casket will return to Texas late Wednesday for the last time.

He’s expected to lie in repose at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Houston until 7 a.m. EST Thursday. The church will also hold its own memorial service for the former president later that morning.

A motorcade will take Bush’s body to Union Pacific Railroad Westfield Auto Facility, where a funeral train will transport the late president’s remains to Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. He’ll be laid to rest on the grounds of the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum, near his wife, Barbara, and their daughter Robin, who died of leukemia in 1953 at age 3.

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