The Washington Post delivers live video coverage as the nation's capital bids its final farewell to the late former President George H.W. Bush on Wednesday in a service of prayer and praise that is drawing together world envoys, Americans of high office and a guy from Maine who used to fix things in Bush's house on the water.
A viewing for the 41st president at the hushed Capitol Rotunda closed Wednesday morning. A ceremony at Washington National Cathedral, the nexus of state funerals, will cap three days of remembrance by dignitaries and ordinary citizens as they honored the Republican president who oversaw the post-Cold War transition and led a successful Gulf War, only to lose re-election in a generational shift to Democrat Bill Clinton in 1992.
Things to know about the event Wednesday:
Bush's casket and the family will arrive at the cathedral just before 11 a.m. EST Wednesday, when the service is expected to begin. Bush had been lying in state in the U.S. Capitol rotunda since Monday, with a river of mourners passing through around the clock. The viewing came to a close at 7 a.m. Wednesday.
WHO WILL SPEAK
Four men are expected to deliver eulogies. The late president's son George W. Bush, also a former president; former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, who held the post while the elder Bush was president; former Sen. Alan Simpson, R-Wyo., who has known the Bush family since the 1960s; and historian Jon Meacham, who wrote a Bush biography.
WHO WILL BE THERE
All eyes will be on the front row on the left side of the cathedral facing the pulpit. That's where President Donald Trump and his wife, Melania, are expected to sit, along with the remaining former presidents and their families: George W. Bush, Jimmy Carter, Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and his wife — Trump's 2016 Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton. Trump has had strained relations (at best) with all of them. But since Bush's death, Trump has extended traditional courtesies to the Bush family, including allowing them to stay at the presidential guest house and visiting with them there.
Also attending: Britain's Prince Charles, the king and queen of Jordan, Polish President Andrzej Duda and other dignitaries from around the world. Look, too, for some of the graybeards from the late president's administration.
After the national funeral service at the cathedral, Bush's remains will be returned to Houston to lie in repose at St. Martin's Episcopal Church before burial Thursday at his family plot on the presidential library grounds at Texas A&M University in College Station. His final resting place will be alongside Barbara Bush, his wife of 73 years who died in April, and Robin Bush, the daughter they lost to leukemia in 1953 at age 3.
Former President George H.W. Bush led a life of grace and diplomacy, from the battlefield to the oil fields, from Texas to New York to China to the White House. Forty-five years after the young fighter pilot was shot down in World War II, he would be the leader of the free world and play a significant role in ending the Cold War.