When John Quincy Adams learned his father, John Adams, had died, several months had passed. A presidential son was unable to honor his presidential father. No eloquent words were spoken, nor recorded, of a son praising his father, from one president to another, at his service or graveside.
President George H.W. Bush lying in state (Capitol Rotunda, Dec 3 2018)
photo credit: AP
This week has been one of watching history being made. A son praising his father, a president praising his predecessor. The words are not singularly one of accomplishment, but an insight into a man dedicated to his family, his lasting friendships, his faith and nation.
President George W. Bush eulogizing his dad, President George H. W. Bush (National Cathedral, Dec 5 2018)
photo credit: UPI
George H. W. Bush was genuinely nice, decent and honorable, living his values everyday. It is the greatest epitaph anyone can earn. A friend had the opportunity to meet him during a Purple Heart ceremony at Bethesda Naval Medical Center. He said of President Bush, “… the nicest man you will ever meet.” It is likely the kind of accolade the President would treasure the most.
It is Naval custom and tradition, at the end of watch, the new watch will say, “You are relieved.” The reply by the outgoing watch is, “I stand relieved.”
photo credit: NBC News
President Bush, you stand relieved, sir.