The Latest: Star athletes among attendees at Bush funeral
HOUSTON (AP) — The Latest on events honoring former President George H.W. Bush (all times local):
Former basketball star Yao Ming and Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt are among a handful of sports figures attending the Houston funeral for President George H.W. Bush.
Baseball Hall of Famers Nolan Ryan and Jeff Bagwell also arrived Thursday morning for the service at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church, where the Bush family worshipped.
Bush was a fan of his hometown teams. He joined his son, former President George W. Bush, on the field before Game 5 of the 2017 World Series in Houston.
Astros owner Drayton McLane and former Los Angeles Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda are also in attendance.
About 1,200 mourners are expected at the service. Bush died last week at age 94.
Guests have started to arrive at the Houston church where former President George H.W. Bush is being remembered.
Services for the 41st president are set for Thursday morning at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church, where the Bush family worshipped. The church’s doors opened two hours early for guests, who arrived on buses with marquees reading “George H.W. Bush.”
About 1,200 mourners are expected at the service. Bush’s grandchildren are serving as honorary pallbearers and as readers in the service.
After the funeral, a hearse will carry Bush’s casket from St. Martin’s to a Union Pacific facility north of Houston near the international airport named for him. There, his casket will be placed on a special train that will travel to his presidential library in College Station, where he will be buried.
Bush died last week at age 94.
The founder of Poland’s anti-communist Solidarity movement, Lech Walesa (lek vah-WEHN’-sah), attended U.S. President George H.W. Bush’s state funeral in Washington wearing a T-shirt with the word “Konstytucja” (Constitution), a symbol of a political struggle in his homeland against the populist government.
Walesa says it was his way of paying tribute to a U.S. leader who fought for freedom. But many people in Poland found it inappropriate.
Walesa said ahead of Wednesday’s ceremony for Bush, “Therefore, when I say goodbye, I want to say that the fight goes on, that we disregarded democracy in Poland, we let the populists and demagogues win. And today we have trouble.”
Bush was president from 1989 to 1993, a time in which communism toppled across Eastern Europe and Walesa became president of a democratic Poland.
Bush died last week in Houston at age 94. His burial is Thursday.
The Houston funeral for George H.W. Bush will feature music from some of the former president’s favorite country music stars.
The Oak Ridge Boys will perform “Amazing Grace” and Reba McEntire will sing “The Lord’s Prayer” at Thursday’s services at Houston’s St. Martin’s Episcopal Church.
Duane Allen of the Oak Ridge Boys says Bush had personally requested that the group sing “Amazing Grace” at his funeral. Allen tells The Tennessean newspaper the band did an impromptu performance for Bush at the White House when Bush was vice president and that began a decades-long friendship.
Allen says the band is honored to keep its promise to Bush to perform at his funeral.
Bush died last week in Houston at age 94. A national funeral service for Bush was held Wednesday in Washington.
More than 11,000 people paid their respects to George H.W. Bush as the 41st president lay in repose all night at a Houston church where his family worshipped.
Some visitors waited for hours Wednesday night to pay tribute to Bush, who will be buried Thursday following a funeral at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church.
About 1,200 mourners are expected at the service Thursday morning. Delivering a eulogy will be James Baker, Bush’s former secretary of state and longtime confidant.
Bush’s grandson George P. Bush will give the other eulogy. He is the Texas land commissioner.
A special train will then take Bush’s casket to the campus of Texas A&M University in College Station, where Bush will be buried at his presidential library next to his wife, Barbara, and their young daughter Robin, who died in 1953.
Bush died at his home in Houston on Friday at age 94.
George H.W. Bush is going to his final rest in Texas. The 41st president will be buried Thursday at his family plot on the presidential library grounds at Texas A&M University in College Station.
His final resting place is alongside wife Barbara Bush and daughter Robin, who died of leukemia at age 3. The country said a formal goodbye to Bush on Wednesday in a national funeral service in Washington.
The service at Washington National Cathedral included high praise and a hefty dose of humor about a man once described as a cross between Mister Rogers and John Wayne.
As three former presidents and President Donald Trump looked on, former President George W. Bush eulogized his father as “the brightest of a thousand points of light.”