WASHINGTON — President Trump and wife Melania will attend the funeral of George H.W. Bush at the Washington National Cathedral, the White House said, after the late president lies in state in the US Capitol.
“The President will designate Wednesday, December 5th as a National Day Of Mourning. He and the First Lady will attend the funeral at the National Cathedral,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement.
Trump and the Bush family have had a thorny relationship, including Trump’s treatment of former Florida governor Jeb Bush — once seen as a natural front-runner for the Republican nomination — during the 2016 primaries. Trump repeatedly dismissed his competitor as “low energy,” and Bush was one of the first to drop out of the primary race.
Bush, the longest-living president in US history, died at his home in Houston late Friday night, aged 94. In his one term in the White House he fashioned a restrained response to the Soviet Union’s collapse and assembled the multinational coalition that liberated Kuwait from an Iraqi invasion.
State funerals are multi-day events consisting of three stages, starting with ceremonies within the state in which the honoree resided, continuing in the nation’s capital, and ending where the individual has chosen to be interred. An official schedule was released on Saturday.
Bush’s remains will be transported on Monday from Ellington Field in Houston to Joint Base Andrews, Md., on Air Force One. There’ll be a bicameral arrival ceremony at the Capitol at 5 p.m. on Monday, and he’ll lie in state in the Capital Rotunda, with the public invited to pay respects from Monday evening until Wednesday morning.
Bush’s funeral at the National Cathedral is scheduled for 11 a.m. Wednesday, and afterward his remains will make the return trip from Andrews back to Houston. The former president will lie in repose at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Houston, where a second service will be held on Thursday. He’ll be interred later on Thursday at the George Bush Presidential Library & Museum on the grounds of Texas A&M University in College Station, after making the final leg, from Spring, Texas, by train.
“This state funeral is a culmination of years of planning and rehearsal to ensure the support the military renders President Bush is nothing less than a first-class tribute,” said Major General Michael L. Howard, Joint Force Headquarters-National Capital Region commanding general.
By tradition, US financial markets close on the national day of mourning. The New York Stock Exchange will observe a minute of silence on Monday to honor Bush and plans to be closed on the official day of mourning designated by Trump, said Kristen Kaus, a spokeswoman for the exchange. Other markets are expected to follow suit.
Trump didn’t attend the funeral in April of Bush’s wife, former first lady Barbara Bush. At the time, the White House said the decision was “to avoid disruptions due to added security, and out of respect for the Bush Family and friends attending the service.” Sitting presidents often don’t go to services for former first ladies; Melania Trump represented her husband.