George H.W. Bush Houston Funeral: Live Updates, Who's Speaking at Final Service for Former President

george h.w. bush funeral service, live updates
Flowers laid are seen at the base of the statue at the George Bush Presidential Library in College Station, Texas on December 1, 2018. Flags flew at half-staff in Washington as Americans prepared for a week of solemn tributes to George H.W. Bush, in his home state of Texas and in the US Capitol, a day after the former president died aged 94. The final funeral services for Bush will be held in Texas on Thursday. Suzanne Cordeiro/AFP/Getty Images

12:20 p.m. - Funeral services are concluded for the 41st president of the United States as Bush's casket exits St. Martin's Episcopal Church in Houston, Texas.

A train locomotive, which was painted to look like Air Force One and dubbed the "Bush 4141," will be used to transport Bush's casket to the Bush Presidential Library and Museum. The train route, estimated to take over two hours, will pass through Hufsmith, Pinehurst, Magnolia, Todd Mission, Stoneham, Millican and Wellborn.

Bush will be laid to rest alongside his wife of 73 years, Barbara, and their daughter Robin, who died of leukemia at the age of 3.

12:05 p.m. - The Oak Ridge Boys perform Amazing Grace and Reba McEntire sings The Lord's Prayer in tributes to the late president.

"We'll sing for our president," the country and gospel group said, recalling how it had first performed for Bush on the White House lawn when was vice president in 1983. The group has sung for the former president many times over the past few decades. "He fancied himself to be a good bass singer. He was not," the group added, drawing laughter from the audience.

George W. Bush wiped away tears as McEntire performed The Lord's Prayer.

11:45 a.m. - Bush's oldest grandson, George P. Bush, delivers a heartfelt tribute.

"Undoubtedly, when the last words are written on him, they will certainly include this: The fulfillment of a complete life cannot be achieved without service to others," George P. Bush said about his grandfather.

George P. Bush shared memories of the former president as a family man, describing family vacations and holidays in Maine. He read an email the former president once wrote to his grandchildren: "I think of all you an awful lot... If you need me I'm here for you because I love you very much."

"It's the honor of a lifetime to share his name," he concluded.

11:30 a.m. - Former Secretary of State James Baker delivers his eulogy for Bush, whom he described as our nation's "very best one-term president."

"My hope is that in remembering the life of George Herbert Walker Bush and in honoring his accomplishments we will see that we are really praising what is best about our nation. The nation he dearly loved and whose values that he embodied," Baker said.

Baker highlighted Bush's foreign policy accomplishments, including the fall of the Berlin Wall and the dissolution of the Soviet Union. "For millions and millions across the globe, the world became a better place because George Bush occupied the White House," Baker said.

11:10 a.m. - George H.W. Bush's casket is walked down the aisle at St. Martin's Episcopal Church.

The service began with a tribute to the former president's Inauguration Day in 1989, with the playing of the national anthem, which was also played as Bush was sworn into office.

Original Story

Family and friends will say their final goodbyes to former President George H.W. Bush on Thursday as he is laid to rest in Texas, alongside his wife, Barbara, and their daughter Robin.

Mourners gathered at the Washington National Cathedral in the capital on Wednesday to pay their respects to the 41st president of the United States. A memorial service attended by President Donald Trump, and all former living presidents—Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter—and first ladies rang with high praise for Bush, who died on November 30 at the age of 94.

George W. Bush, the 43rd president of the United States, said in a moving eulogy that his father was a "great and noble man, and the best father a son or daughter could have."

Before Bush is taken to his final resting place at the George H.W. Presidential Library and Museum in College Station, there will be an invitation-only funeral service at St. Martin's Episcopal Church in Houston on Thursday, starting at 11 a.m. ET. About 12,000 people have already passed by the late president's casket since Wednesday evening as he lay in repose at the church.

Eulogies will be given by Bush's grandson, George P. Bush, and his close friend, former Secretary of State James Baker. Among the 1,200 guests will be Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt, former Astros first baseman Jeff Bagwell and movie star and former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

After the service, a train painted to look like Air Force One, dubbed the "Bush 4141," will transport the casket from the church to College Station for a grave side service and burial.