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In rare honour, Air Force One arrives in Houston to carry Bush casket to Washington

Press Trust of India  |  Houston 

Donald Trump's Air Force One, which has been redesignated as '41' in a "special tribute" to George H W Bush, arrived here to transport the body of the former to for a state funeral at on Wednesday.

Bush, the 41st of the US who led during the dramatic collapse of the and engineered the defeat of an audacious Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, died in on Friday at the age of 94.

President Trump, who has announced a of mourning on Wednesday, said on Saturday that the will bring the casket of Bush to Washington, describing it as "a special tribute that the former president deserves very much."

By tradition, the aircraft is called when the president is on board. President Trump is not travelling on the aircraft, so the plane has been redesignated as "41" to honour Bush.

"has arrived in for what will technically be called '41' tomorrow and Wednesday. A beautiful day in -- 'ceiling and visibility unlimited,' Mr. President," Jim McGrath, a for the Bush family, tweeted.

McGrath also shared a photo of Bush's service dog Sully, lying in front of the president's casket. The photo has been shared over 14,000 times as of Sunday night.

Bush -- only the to see his son follow him to the Oval Office -- will be honoured with four days of services and tributes in and in Texas, where he will be buried on Thursday.

Bush's son George -- the 43rd president of the -- and other loved ones are expected to travel on the presidential jet.

The former president will have two funerals -- a state funeral at the and a local funeral at St. Martin's Episcopal Church in

Officials also held what appeared to be a dry run for moving Bush's casket to

His body will lay in state at the after an arrival ceremony on Monday. The public is invited and can pay their respects from Monday evening until Wednesday morning.

Bush's office said the state funeral at the will be held on Wednesday morning.

The late president's remains will then be returned to Houston on Wednesday. A public viewing will be held from Wednesday evening until Thursday morning followed by the funeral service at St. Martin's Episcopal Church in Houston.

On Thursday, the president's casket will be taken by train to College Station, Texas, accompanied by the members and close friends. A funeral procession will then travel on George Bush Drive toward the

According to sources in the White House, President Trump and would attend the funeral service in Houston on Thursday. Former presidents Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, and are also likely to attend the event.

The state funeral for the 41st president, whose death sparked tributes from around the world and across the political aisle, will be the first presidential funeral since died in 2006.

Bush will be buried in next to his wife, Barbara, and their daughter, Robin, who died in 1953.

President Bush was suffering from that forced him to use a wheelchair in recent years, and he had been in and out of hospitals in recent months as his health declined.

The decorated war pilot and former CIA was elected president on November 8, 1988. He was sworn in on January 20, 1989, and served until January 20, 1993.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, December 03 2018. 17:55 IST