President George H.W. Bush's remains lie in state at Capitol

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His coffin had earlier left Texas to a 21-gun salute and was carried to Washington on board Air Force One - temporarily renamed Special Air Mission 41 in homage to the late president.

George HW Bush was honoured with a solemn ceremony in Washington D.C on Monday as the body of the 41st president arrived in the U.S. capital.

Former President George W. Bush, the 43rd president, called his father a "man of the highest character" following his death.

In an invocation opening the ceremony, the US House chaplain, the reverend Patrick J Conroy, praised Mr Bush's commitment to public service, from Navy pilot to congressman, United Nations ambassador, envoy to China and then Central Intelligence Agency director before being elected vice president and then president.

Bush died Friday at his Houston home at age 94. Trump ordered the federal government to close during the official funeral at the Washington National Cathedral.

President Donald Trump, a fellow Republican, planned to visit with the mourning family at Blair House, near the White House. Trump himself has criticized the elder Bush on the campaign trail.

"Just incredible", Jeb Bush tweeted.

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His death also reduces membership in the club of living ex-presidents to four: Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, George W Bush and Barack Obama. Alongside them was someone that came into Bush's life only recently: his service dog, Sully. Bush will be buried next to wife Barbara, who died in April, and daughter Robin, who died of leukemia aged three.

Sully was provided to Bush by America's VetDogs, a group which pairs service and therapy dogs with people with physical limitations like blindness, or those who suffer from effects of post-traumatic stress disorder.

The remains will then be transported by train for interment on the grounds of the George Bush Presidential Library in College Station, Texas. Pence recalled that he recently asked Bush to sign a photo for his son, who made his first tailhook landing as a Marine aviator on the USS George H.W. Bush.

Christy Smith paused over the weekend to pay her respects to President Bush at a bronze statue of him at a Houston park. Public visitation hours began at 7:30 p.m. and were slated to continue until Wednesday at 8:45 a.m.

To commemorate the first former president to die since Gerald Ford in 2006, officials have announced a detailed, four-day schedule of celebratory services and homages, organised with military precision by the Pentagon task force charged with protecting the U.S. capital. He was elected to the first of two terms in Congress in 1967.

Both men served in the Second World War and ran for the presidency as Republicans, although Dole was unsuccessful.

"I'm just here to pay my respects", said Jane Hernandez, a retired physician.

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