HOUSTON (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — Former President George H.W. Bush will be buried in College Station after a funeral service at the church he attended for many years and a special memorial train that will carry his casket.
The nation’s 41st president died last week at age 94. His casket returned to Houston after a state funeral Wednesday at Washington National Cathedral.
Mr. Bush has been lying in repose at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church, where his family worshipped. More than 12,000 people paid their respects as he lay in repose all night at the Houston church.
A look at today’s events:
About 1,200 mourners filled into St. Martin’s for a service that began at 10 a.m. St. Martin’s is the nation’s largest Episcopal church and was where Barbara Bush’s funeral was held in April.
The service began with “America the Beautiful” and a robust rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
Former basketball star Yao Ming and Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt are among a handful of sports figures attending the funeral.
James Baker, Bush’s secretary of state, campaign manager and confidant of several decades delivered one eulogy. Baker said that Bush embodied some of the nation’s best values, “temperate” in thought, word and deed, “our nation’s very best one-term president.”
Baker was with Bush just before the former president died.
Bush’s grandson George P. Bush gave the other eulogy. He drew laughs from the crowd after telling mourners that the man his grandchildren knew as “gampy” would challenge them to games like “the first to sleep award.”
George P. Bush is the son of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and serves as Texas land commissioner, the third generation of Bushes to win elected office in the state.
Country music’s Oak Ridge Boy sang “Amazing Grace” and Reba McEntire offered “The Lord’s Prayer”. The 41st president was a noted fan of country music.
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 the city of College Station, home to his presidential library at Texas A&M University.
The casket will be placed in the train’s sixth car, a converted baggage hauler called “Council Bluffs,” that has been fitted with acrylic windows to allow mourners views of Bush’s flag draped coffin.
The train will take about 2½ hours to travel roughly 70 miles.
ARRIVAL AT TEXAS A&M
The train is scheduled to arrive in College Station just before 3:30 p.m. Among the hundreds of people waiting will be Texas A&M leaders, staff from the president’s foundation and library and students from the Bush School of Government and Public Service.
The Bush family will be taken to the presidential library, where Navy planes, including eight separate squadrons that will travel from the Naval Air Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base, will fly over in a “missing man” formation. Bush was a Navy pilot who was shot down during World War II.
Bush will be buried in a private service at his family plot on the presidential library grounds at the university. The former president’s final resting place will be alongside his wife of 73 years, Barbara Bush, and their daughter Robin, who died of leukemia in 1953 at age 3.
There will be a 21-gun cannon salute after the Lord’s Prayer is recited. The American flag will be presented at the end of the service to his daughter Doro Bush Koch.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)