Public visitation for President George H.W. Bush comes to a close

By Aaron Barker - Senior Web Editor, Cory McCord - Digital News Editor
KPRC2

President George H.W. Bush lies in repose at St. Martin's Episcopal Church on Dec. 5, 2018.

HOUSTON - The last bus for the public viewing at St. Martins' Episcopal Church officially left around 5:20 a.m.

According to authorities, there was a backup at the church, so lines had to close and the bus had to leave early in order for church officials to have time to prepare for President George H.W. Bush's funeral service at 10 a.m.

After an emotional goodbye in Washington, the body of former President George H.W. Bush returned to Houston on Wednesday afternoon for the final time.

America’s 41st president died late Friday. He was 94.

Bush returned to Houston aboard "Special Air Mission 41.” Plans for Bush's funeral began 15 years ago.

The presidential plane flew over Bush’s burial site in College Station before landing at Ellington Field in Houston at about 5 p.m.

 

 

The video below shows the presidential plane flying over College Station Wednesday afternoon.

An arrival ceremony was held for Bush at Ellington Field. Click through the slideshow below to see photos from the arrival.

Among those in attendance were past and present members of Houston's various professional sports teams, including several current Houston Texans players, linemen Greg Mancz, Nick Martin and long snapper John Weeks were there along with former Texans greats Brian Cushing and Andre Johnson. Texans Head Coach Bill O'Brien's wife Colleen, and son Michael, were there along with General Manager Brian Gaine. Astros president Reid Ryan, general manager Jeff Luhnow, manager A.J. Hinch, Astros radio announcer Bill Brown, former Rockets players Mario Elie, Clyde Drexler, Elvin Hayes, Calvin Murphy and former executive Tad Brown were also in attendance.

Bush was a big sports fan and regularly attended Astros, Rockets and Texans games. He and his wife, Barbara, could often be seen sitting behind home plate at Astros games.

The video below shows Bush's casket being removed from the presidential plane and loaded into an awaiting hearse.

After the arrival ceremony, the late president’s casket was taken by motorcade to St. Martin’s Episcopal Church. From Ellington Field, the motorcade took the Gulf Freeway to the South Loop. Vehicles could be seen stopping on both sides of the freeway as drivers paid their respects.

Bush will lie in repose at the church from Wednesday night until Thursday morning.

Bush’s funeral will be held at the church Thursday morning before he is taken by train to College Station. He will be buried at his presidential library next to former first lady Barbara Bush and their daughter, Robin.

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