HOUSTON – Family, friends and dignitaries from around the world made Saturday’s funeral of former first lady Barbara Bush an unprecedented celebration of life.
It was also historic for the city of Houston.
“This is the first time at least in my memory that we have had four presidents in Houston. I can’t recall another time,” said Mark Jones, a political historian at Rice University’s Baker Institute.
“When you get all these presidents together, it symbolizes the fact that we are all Americans. We’re Americans first and Democrats and Republicans second,” Jones said.
The former presidents in attendance will be George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama.
For many, it’s a fascinating gathering during this time of reflection and celebration.
“It is remarkable to see everybody coming together but I think this transcends politics and partisanship,” said U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, following his visit to Barbara Bush’s wake Friday morning at St. Martin's Episcopal Church.
Nancy Beck Young, University of Houston presidential historian, said that as intriguing the gathering of the four presidents will be, it is also historic to see four former first ladies, including current first lady Melanie Trump, come together.