On the day that thousands of people waited hours to pay their respects to late President George H.W. Bush as he lay in state in the Capitol Rotunda, his spokesman revealed the 41st president of the United States had concerns that no one would attend his funeral.
Apparently, the senior George Bush was worried how people would react to his death.
Bush’s spokesman Jim McGrath revealed on December 4 that Mr. Bush once feared that no one would show up to his funeral.
“Briefed in 2011 about his funeral and lying in state, the 41st President asked with typical humility, ‘Do you think anyone will come?'” McGrath tweeted alongside a touching photo from the service for the late former leader. “Tonight, people are waiting hours to pay their respects.”
People Magazine reported that thousands of people had lined up during the days of December 3 and 4 to pay their respects to the man who served his country in several key capacities for 76 of his 94 years.
His body had been lying in state at the U.S. Capitol Rotunda since Monday.
The 41st president’s body will remain on the Lincoln Catafalque in the Capitol Rotunda through Wednesday.
People reported that Bush is the first president to lie in state since the death of Gerald Ford in 2006.
The magazine noted that including President George H.W. Bush, only 32 people have ever lain in state in the Rotunda, including Sen. John McCain earlier in 2018.
Briefed in 2011 about his funeral and lying in state, the 41st President asked with typical humility, "Do you think anyone will come?" Tonight, people are waiting hours to pay their respects. This photo, taken Monday, is courtesy the Senate Press Photographers’ Gallery pool. pic.twitter.com/jveNxNlUYV
— Jim McGrath (@jgm41) December 5, 2018
McGrath confirmed the news that Bush had passed away. He said in an official statement, “George Herbert Walker Bush, World War II naval aviator, Texas oil pioneer, and 41st President of the United States of America, died on November 30, 2018. He was 94 and is survived by his five children and their spouses, 17 grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren, and two siblings.”
On the day he turned 18, just 6 months after the attack on Pearl Harbor, George H. W. Bush volunteered for combat duty in World War II—the beginning of an incredible lifetime of public service.
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) December 4, 2018
“He was preceded in death by his wife of 73 years, Barbara; his second child Pauline ‘Robin’ Bush; and his brothers Prescott and William or ‘Bucky’ Bush,” the statement continued.
Current United States President Donald Trump declared that December 5 would be a national day of mourning dedicated to Bush’s memory and that flags should be lowered to half-staff in his honor for 30 days.
Biography explained George H.W. Bush fought in WWII, signing up shortly after his 18th birthday. He was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1966. The senior Bush served as Ronald Reagan’s vice president for two terms and then won the 1988 U.S. presidential race before losing his bid for a second term to Bill Clinton.
Bush became chairman of the Harris County Republican Party in 1963. The following year, he ran an unsuccessful campaign for a U.S. Senate seat in Texas. Two years after his Senate bid, he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, serving two terms.
Bush was later appointed as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations in 1971, head of the Republican National Committee during the Watergate scandal, U.S. envoy to China, and director of the Central Intelligence Agency in 1976.
President George H.W. Bush’s state funeral will be held at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday at 11 a.m. ET.