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 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.”
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 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. VOAClick here for reuse options!
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