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Trump pays respects as president Bush lies in state in US Capitol

AFP  |  Washington 

Donald and Melania paid their respects Monday to late George H W Bush, whose remains lay in state in the US Capitol.

The Trumps made a brief visit to the Capitol rotunda, where Bush's flag-draped coffin was resting as part of tributes to honour the 41st US and commemorate his extraordinary life.

Bush died peacefully Friday at age 94, at his home in Houston, a passing that led Americans to reflect on his life of duty and service to country as a of the so-called "Greatest Generation."

Only the to see his son follow him to the Oval Office, the Republican stalwart is being honoured with four days of commemorations and services in and in Texas, where he will be buried Thursday.

is scheduled to attend a state funeral service Wednesday at National Cathedral -- the first presidential funeral since died in 2006.

But late Monday, after Bush relatives and dignitaries had gone, the president was driven from the up to Capitol Hill.

With the at his side, saluted, and they stood at Bush's casket for about a minute. They exited the rotunda with little fanfare.

Bush never warmed to Trump, and he had let it be known that he did not vote for him in 2016. Trump himself has criticized the elder Bush on the campaign trail.

But on Monday, Trump wrote members of to hail Bush as a man who "led a life that exemplified what is truly great about " "President Bush worked selflessly throughout his long life to bring about a world of justice and lasting peace," he wrote.

Bush was a decorated World War II fighter pilot, onetime to China, former of the Central Intelligence Agency, and before winning the

Military pallbearers carried the flag-draped casket into the rotunda as a fiery sunset bathed in a glow.

The somber ceremony was attended by his son -- the nation's -- and other relatives, dignitaries and more than 100 members of the and

Majority lauded Bush -- who occupied the from 1989 to 1993 -- as a patriot who steered the country as straight as he had piloted his World War II airplane.

"He kept us flying high and challenged us to fly higher still. And he did it with modesty and kindness that would have been surprising in someone one tenth as tough and accomplished as he was," he said.

Bush was transported aboard the presidential 747 -- made available at Trump's direction -- from to Joint Base Andrews, in

In Houston, relatives including his presidential son stood with hands on their hearts as the casket was carried to the aircraft.

Bush is the president to lie in state in the rotunda. Just three months earlier, the honor was accorded to John McCain, a former Republican presidential nominee who died of

Hundreds of members of the public began quietly filing in to the Capitol late Monday to pay their final respects.

Among them was Kim Frinzell, a government employee who did not vote for Bush but grew to respect his accomplishments, including signing the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act.

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

First Published: Tue, December 04 2018. 09:30 IST