Solemn public pays tribute to Bush before dawn in Rotunda

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"I believe there are certain qualities that veterans have, and when Bush was president, I think about three-fourths of Congress were veterans and we would stick together and work together across the aisle".

Controversial as a politician, the 41st president has been feted in death as the embodiment of a public servant - with some of the commemorations pointedly contrasting him with the current White House occupant.

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

Bush was elected USA president in 1988 as the successor to Ronald Reagan.

The political dynasty, led by son and former President George W. Bush, accompanied the patriarch's body on the flight aboard the presidential plane from Texas to Joint Base Andrews outside Washington, and then on a trip down Pennsylvania Avenue to the steps of the Capitol.

Trump had a complicated relationship with the late president.

Eulogies will be offered by former President George W. Bush, former Sen.

Ryan recalled how Bush earned his first vote as a young man, adding that the former president was a "great patriot".

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US-POLITICS-BUSHSully, the yellow Labrador retriever who was former President George H.W. Bush service dog is seen during a departure ceremony at Ellington Field, on December 3, 2018, in Houston. "His legacy is grace perfected".

Trump has ordered the federal government to close on Wednesday and both the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq will be closed in observance. Bush himself seemed to be holding back tears. One of 41's last wishes was for Sully to continue to serve.

Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, the Senate Democratic leader, placed wreaths in the short ceremony before the rotunda was opened to the public.

Although Bush's funeral services are suffused with the flourishes accorded presidents, by his choice they will not include a formal funeral procession through downtown Washington.

Bush's death also reduces membership in the ex-presidents' club to four: Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

Despite Dole, a longtime U.S. senator from Kansas, challenging Bush for the Republican nomination in the 1988 presidential race, the two men remained friendly.

After services in Washington, there will be another funeral in Houston on Thursday, followed by burial at the Bush Presidential Library in College Station, Texas.