Delegate Gregorio Kilili C. Sablan (Ind-MP) and his family has joined the entire nation and the territories in mourning the recent passing of former President George H.W. Bush, who served as America’s 41st head of state.
“Andrea and I and our family send our deepest sympathy and prayers to the Bush family,” said Sablan in a statement sent to Saipan Tribune yesterday.
He added that although he did not personally met Bush, his colleagues in U.S. Congress praised him for his length of serving the country, which began when he flew combat missions during World War II.
“America, sadly, is mourning the loss of former President Bush. And while I never met the former President, many of my colleagues who served terms under his presidency, uttered the words ‘duty, sacrifice and patriotism’ that [he] will be remembered by,” said Sablan.
“And that they [U.S. Congress colleagues] knew President Bush as a gentleman of the highest integrity and deepest patriotism.”
Bush’s remains arrived at the U.S. Capitol at 4:45pm on Monday (7:45am Tuesday on Saipan) in a simple ceremony involving the House of Representatives and Senate. His remains will lie in state at the Capitol’s rotunda where the public can pay their respects.
The public viewing will be from 7:30pm on Monday to 8:45am on Wednesday, Dec. 5, and a memorial service would follow at 11am at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. for family and friends of the Bushes.
His remains will be flown in to Texas for his burial at the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum at the west campus of the Texas A&M grounds in College Station.
“The former President will lie in state Monday evening at the Capitol Rotunda, followed by a memorial mass at the National Cathedral before he is brought to Texas for burial at his library’s grounds,” said Sablan.
All U.S. and CNMI flags in the Commonwealth have been lowered at half-staff as a mark of honor and respect to late president, who died last Friday in their home in Houston. He was 94.
President Trump has also directed the entire nation and territories to observe a National Day of Mourning on Dec. 5, Wednesday, also ordering that all executive departments and agencies of the federal government to be closed on the same day.
Bush was one of the U.S. Navy’s youngest pilots where he flew combat missions in the Pacific theatre and even survived after being shot down by enemy fire. He also became the GOP chair, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, the Central Intelligence Agency director during the Cold War, U.S. envoy to China, and Vice President to former President Ronald Regan before becoming President in 1989.