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VIPs Of U.S To Pay Tribute To Barbara Bush

The VIPs of U.S. gathered to pay tribute to Former U.S. First Lady Barbara Bush

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Barbara Bush
FILE: Former U.S. first lady Barbara Bush listens to her son, President George W. Bush, as he speaks at an event on social security reform in Orlando, Florida, March 18, 2005. VOA
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Top U.S. political figures are paying tribute to former U.S. first lady Barbara Bush as a woman who was devoted to her family, her country and the public good.

President Donald Trump praised Bush, who died Tuesday at the age of 92, as “an advocate of the American family.”

He said that “amongst her greatest achievements was recognizing the importance of literacy as a fundamental family value that requires nurturing and protection. She will be long remembered for her strong devotion to country and family, both of which she served unfailingly well.”

Former first lady Barbara Bush
First lady Barbara Bush poses with her dog Millie in 1990. VOA

Former President Barack Obama said he and former first lady Michelle Obama will “always be grateful to Mrs. Bush for the generosity she showed to us throughout our time in the White House, but we’re even more grateful for the way she lived her life — as a testament to the fact that public service is an important and noble calling; as an example of the humility and decency that reflects the very best of the American spirit.”

Former President Bill Clinton, who defeated Bush’s husband, former President George H.W. Bush, when he ran for re-election in 1992, said, “Barbara Bush was a remarkable woman. She had grit and grace, brains and beauty.

“She was fierce and feisty in support of her family and friends, her country and her causes. She showed us what an honest, vibrant, full life looks like. Hillary and I mourn her passing and bless her memory.”

Also Read: Former US First Lady Barbara Bush Dies At Age 92

Former President Jimmy Carter and former first lady Rosalynn Carter recalled Barbara Bush as the “matriarch of a family dedicated to serving, she urged volunteerism as a way for all citizens to participate in our nation’s progress.”

Barbara Bush was only the second woman in U.S. history who was both married to a U.S. president and the mother of a second, former President George W. Bush. The other was Abigail Adams, the wife of John Adams, the country’s second president in the 18th century, and his son, John Quincy Adams, the sixth president.

Family members and former President George H.W. Bush, the country’s 41st president from 1989 to 1993, were at her side at her death. George and Barbara Bush were married for 73 years, the longest-married couple in U.S. presidential history.

The former president’s chief of staff, Jean Becker, said that “of course he is heartbroken to lose his beloved Barbara. He held her hand all day today and was at her side when [she] left this good Earth.”

Her son, former President George W. Bush, said he, his wife, Laura Bush, and their daughters Barbara and Jenna were saddened by her death, “but our souls are settled because we know hers was.”

Barbara Bush along with her son and husband.
U.S. President George W. Bush (R) waves alongside his parents, former President George Bush and former first lady Barbara Bush upon their arrival Fort Hood, Texas, April 8, 2007. VOA

“Barbara Bush was a fabulous first lady and a woman unlike any other who brought levity, love, and literacy to millions,” he said. “To us, she was so much more. Mom kept us on our toes and kept us laughing until the end. I’m a lucky man that Barbara Bush was my mother. Our family will miss her dearly, and we thank you all for your prayers and good wishes.”

The former first lady suffered in recent years from congestive heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. She declined to seek further medical treatment as her condition worsened in recent days.

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Her funeral is set for Saturday in Houston, Texas. She will lie in repose for public viewing on Friday at the Episcopal church she and her husband attended.  VOA

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Former US First Lady Barbara Bush Dies At Age 92

Ex-US First Lady Barbara Bush dead

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Barbara Bush
FILE - Former first lady Barbara Bush listens to her son, President George W. Bush, as he speaks on Social Security reform in Orlando, Florida, March 18, 2005. VOA

Barbara Bush, the matriarch of a Republican political dynasty and a former First Lady who elevated the cause of literacy, has died at the age of 92, media reports said.

“A former First Lady of the United States of America and relentless proponent of family literacy, Barbara Pierce Bush passed away on Tuesday at the age of 92,” family spokesman Jim McGrath said in a statement.

Barbara Bush is survived by her husband former President George H.W. Bush; sons George W., Neil, Marvin and Jeb; daughter, Dorothy Bush Koch; and 17 grandchildren.

Former first lady Barbara Bush
First lady Barbara Bush poses with her dog Millie in 1990. VOA

On Sunday, her husband’s office issued a statement saying that after consulting the family and her doctors, Barbara Bush had “decided not to seek additional medical treatment and will instead focus on comfort care”, reports The New York Times.

The Bushes had celebrated their 73rd wedding anniversary in January, making them the longest-married couple in presidential history.

Only the second woman in American history to have had a husband and a son elected President (Abigail Adams was the first), Barbara Bush was seen as a plainspoken public figure who was instantly recognisable with her signature white hair and pearl necklaces and earrings, reports CNN.

Also Read: US First Lady Melania Trump Presents International Women of Courage Award to 13 women in Washington

She became a major political figure as her husband rose to become first a Vice President (January 20, 1981 – January 20, 1989) and then the 41st US President (January 20, 1989 – January 20, 1993).

He left office in 1993 after losing a re-election bid to Bill Clinton.

After they left the White House, she was a potent spokeswoman for two of her sons — George W. and Jeb — as they campaigned for office.

The mother of six children — one of whom, a daughter, Robin, died as a child from leukemia — Barbara Bush raised her fast-growing family in the 1950s and ’60s amid the post-war boom of Texas and the whirl of politics that consumed her husband.

Barbara Pierce was born on June 8, 1925, in New York and raised in the upscale town of Rye, CNN reported.

Barbara Bush along with her husband
President-elect George H.W. Bush, right, and his wife Barbara Bush, wave to the crowd at a victory celebration rally, Nov. 8, 1988, Houston, Texas. VOA

She attended a prestigious boarding school in South Carolina, where she met her future husband at a school dance when she was only 16 and he was a year older.

A year and a half and countless love letters later, the two were engaged just before George H. W. Bush enlisted in the Navy and went off to fight in the World War II.

Barbara Bush adopted literacy as a cause, raising awareness and eventually launching the non-profit Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy.

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After George H.W. Bush’s presidency, he and Barbara raised more than $1 billion for literacy and cancer charities.

A writer, her books include an autobiography and one about post-White House life. Her children’s book about their dog, Millie, and her puppies written during her White House years was a bestseller.

In 2001, when George W. Bush took office, Barbara Bush became the only woman in American history to live to see her husband and son elected president.  IANS