Following the funeral of George H.W. Bush spectators and fans lined the route of the special funeral train as the former president gets his name down in history once more.
A special passenger train transported the remains of the former president from Houston to College Station, Texas, as George H.W. Bush made the final leg of his journey to his last resting place.
The last time a president’s body got moved aboard a funeral train was after the death of Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1969. The first time the presidential funeral train ran was back in 1865 when Abraham Lincoln’s body traveled on a 1,654-mile trip through seven states over two weeks from Washington D.C. to Springfield, Illinois.
The train’s sixth car got converted into a baggage hauler called ‘Council Bluffs,’ with transparent sides which makes Bush’s flag-draped coffin visible from all sides during its 70 miles journey.
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After an emotionally laden service at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Houston, a hearse escorted by the secret service took the former president Bush to Spring, Texas.
The former president, Bush’s casket, got carried onto the funeral train by the joint services military honor guard that took him and his family members and close friends to College Station.
The Bush family looked on solemnly as George H. W. Bush’s casket got loaded onto the train. Once the train arrived at College Station, the former president’s coffin got taken to the presidential library at the university.
Throughout his journey, Bush’ Secret Service detail stayed with him and will remain with him until 6 am on Friday.
The former president will be laid to rest during a private ceremony next to his wife, Barbara and his daughter, Robin, who died when she was three years old in 1953.
The funeral at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church got attended by about 1,200 mourners. Familiar faces included Reba McEntire, The Oak Ridge Boys, Yao Mind, J.J. Watts, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and longtime friend of former president Bush James A. Baker.
Baker had served under Bush as White House chief of staff and secretary of state, during the funeral he paid an emotional tribute to his dear friend and said that “he’s been my friend and he’s been my role model.”
Mourners lined the streets to pay their respects to the late 41st president on Thursday afternoon. Bush’s funeral train marks the eighth in American history and the first in 49 years since Dwight D. Eisenhower.
George H.W. Bush spent his last days in bed at his home in Kennebunkport; he had lost his appetite which improved on Friday when he at some boiled eggs and yogurt.
Only hours later he would speak to his son for the last time. George W. Bush could not be physically present, so he talked to his father on the phone.
His last words were to his son, and he used them to tell George that he loved him. Shortly after he drew his last breath.