Only two men in American history have followed in their fathers’ footsteps to become President of the United States. On Wednesday, George W. Bush became the first president in history to eulogize a father who had also been president.
The younger Bush spoke of his dad’s penchant for “living young” even into old age and that led to skydiving even at 90 years old.
“The horizons he saw were bright and hopeful. He was a genuinely optimistic man. That optimism guided his children and made each of us believe that anything was possible,” said Bush.
Bush also discussed his father’s legendary kindness.
“Dad could relate to people from all walks of life. He was an empathetic man. He valued character over pedigree. And he was no cynic. He looked for the good in each person and he usually found it,” said Bush.
Bush also thanked his father for setting a great example for him in the Oval Office.
“He showed me what it means to be a president who serves with integrity, leads with courage, and acts with love in his heart for the citizens of our country,” said Bush.
However, the final moments were the most powerful for many. The 43rd president choked back emotion as he praised his father and rejoiced at the reunion of George H.W. Bush with his wife and daughter. Barbara Bush died in April at age 92. Pauline Robinson “Robin” Bush died of leukemia in 1953 at just three years of age.
“We’re going to miss you,” said Bush. “Your decency, sincerity, and kind soul will stay with us forever.
“So through our tears, let us know the blessings of knowing and loving you, a great and noble man, the best father a son or daughter could have. And in our grief, let us smile knowing that Dad is hugging Robin and holding Mom’s hand again,” said Bush.
Listen here for the full eulogy.