George H.W. Bush funeral plans: When will the funeral be, who will be there?

On Saturday evening, the office of former President George H.W. Bush announced the official schedule of the 41st president’s state funeral and the related services and ceremonies that are scheduled.

Services will take place in Texas, the adopted home state for Bush, and in Washington, D.C. His body will lie in state at the Capitol rotunda, and he will be interred at the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum.

Here is the schedule for the services for Bush. The entries in bold indicate funeral services:

  • Monday at 11:30 a.m. ET - Departure ceremony at Ellington Field, Houston, Texas.
  • Monday at 3:30 p.m. ET - Arrival ceremony at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland.
  • Monday at 4:45 p.m. ET - Arrival ceremony at U.S. Capitol, Washington, D.C.
  • Monday at 5 p.m. ET – After a brief ceremony, Bush's body will lie in state at the U.S. Capitol from Monday at 7:30 p.m. until Wednesday at 8:45 a.m. with a guard of honor in attendance.
  • Wednesday at 10 a.m. ET - Departure ceremony at U.S. Capitol.
  • Wednesday 11 a.m. ET - Arrival and funeral at Washington National Cathedral, Washington, D.C.
  • Wednesday at 12:30 p.m. ET - Departure ceremony at Washington National Cathedral.
  • Wednesday at 1:15 p.m. ET - Departure ceremony at Joint Base Andrews. Bush's remains will depart Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, to be flown to Ellington Field.
  • Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. ET - Arrival ceremony at Ellington Field.
  • Wednesday at 6:45 p.m. ET - Arrival ceremony at St. Martin's Episcopal Church, Houston, Texas.
  • Wednesday at 7:45 p.m. ET - Bush's remains will lie in repose at St. Martin's Episcopal Church until Thursday at 7 a.m. with a guard of honor in attendance.
  • Thursday, 11 a.m. ET - Funeral service at St. Martin's Episcopal Church.
  • Thursday at 12:15 p.m. ET - Departure ceremony at St. Martin's Episcopal Church.
  • Thursday at 1:30 p.m. ET - Bush's remains will depart St. Martin's Episcopal Church and be transported by motorcade to Union Pacific Railroad Westfield Auto Facility. From there, Bush's remains will be transported by funeral car train to College Station, Texas.
  • Thursday at 4:45 p.m. ET - Arrival ceremony at Texas A&M University.
  • Thursday at 5:15 p.m. ET - Arrival and interment at George Bush Presidential Library & Museum, College Station, Texas. 

Every U.S. president, often within the first days or weeks of their presidency, files a plan with the Joint Task Force-National Capital Region outlining how he wants his funeral to be conducted.

Bush filed a 211-page document with the Military District of Washington outlining what he wanted in regard to his funeral services. In that plan, he requested:

  • An aerial flyover of fighter jets in missing man formation by the United States Air Force. 
  • To be interred at the George Bush Presidential Library in College Station, Texas.
  • Not to have the presidential fanfare, "Hail to the Chief," performed during final interment and burial.

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump will be attending the services, to be held in the National Cathedral in Washington.

"The President and First Lady were notified late last night of President George H.W. Bush's passing. President Trump is scheduled to speak with President George W. Bush this morning and offer his condolences on behalf of himself, the First Lady, and the entire country," a statement from the White House read. "A state funeral is being arranged with all of the accompanying support and honors. The President will designate Wednesday, December 5th as a National Day Of Mourning. He and the First Lady will attend the funeral at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C."

Trump will also send Air Force One to Texas to transport formerBush’s casket to Washington.

Trump drew the ire of the Bush family when he disparaged former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush during the 2016 presidential campaign. Jeb Bush was running against Trump for the Republican nomination for president.

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On Saturday, Trump remembered Bush in a tweet as a man of "sound judgment, common sense and unflappable leadership."

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A statement from the former president's office announced his death:

"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. Funeral arrangements will be announced as soon as is practical."

>> George H.W. Bush: In his own words

Bush is receiving a state funeral organized and executed by the Joint Task Force-National Capital Region.

The JTF-NCR issued this statement on Bush’s funeral:

"As a joint organization, the task force is comprised of nearly 4,000 military and civilian personnel from all branches of the United States Armed Forces, to include Reserve and National Guard components, and is responsible for ceremonial and civil affairs support. 

"We, the men and women of the Department of Defense, are honored and proud to support the Bush family and will do so with the utmost respect," said Maj. Gen. Michael L. Howard, Joint Force Headquarters-National Capital Region commanding general. "This state funeral is a culmination of years of planning and rehearsal to ensure the support the military renders President Bush is nothing less than a first-class tribute.

"The JTF-NCR has provided personnel, ceremonial units and military support to state funerals for former Presidents Eisenhower, Truman, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Reagan and Ford. Military ceremonial involvement consists of musical units, family escorts, color guards, salute batteries, honor cordons and body bearers."

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