AP

George H. W. Bush Arrives at His Final Resting Place

December 06, 2018 - 2:06 pm
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HOUSTON (AP) — A special funeral train carrying the casket of former President George H.W. Bush has rolled to a final stop near his burial site in Texas.

The blue-and-gray locomotive painted to resemble Air Force One arrived Thursday in College Station after a roughly 70-mile (115-kilometer) trip from suburban Houston. Thousands of people lined the train route to pay their respects to the 41st president.

The 12-car train also carried Bush's close friends and family, including former President George W. Bush.

They will now head to the grounds of the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum at Texas A&M University for a private burial service. Bush will be laid to rest alongside his wife, Barbara Bush, and their daughter Robin, who died at age 3 of leukemia in 1953.

It was the eighth funeral train in U.S. history and the first since Dwight D. Eisenhower's death nearly a half-century ago.

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2:30 p.m.

People who turned out to pay tribute to former President George H.W. Bush as a special funeral train carries his body to the city where he'll be buried are leaving coins on the tracks to be flattened into keepsakes.

Fifty-five-year-old Doug Allen of Cypress left eight coins on the tracks before the train passed through the small town of Pinehurst. The train left his three quarters, three dimes and two pennies flattened and slightly discolored.

He says he only thought of the idea a few moments before the train passed and his wife and her friend found the coins in their bags. He says, "It's something we'll always keep."

Officials have been warning the excited crowds to stay off the tracks as the train approaches. At one point, a Texas Department of Public Safety helicopter flew overhead and told people to get off the tracks.

Bush will be buried later Thursday during a private service on the grounds of his presidential library in College Station.

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2:05 p.m.

A 54-year-old Texan who served in the U.S. Air Force during "Operation Desert Storm" is among the many people who turned out to watch the special funeral train carry former President George H.W. Bush to his final resting place.

Kevin Gulley, who lives in Cypress, traveled to nearby Pinehurst on Thursday to see the train carrying the casket of his former commander-in-chief. It is taking Bush's body for burial in the family plot at his presidential library in College Station.

Gulley wore a blue jacket with "U.S. Air Force" embroidered in gold lettering on the back and had a button reading "Looking Great for '88" on his lapel. He said he wanted to pay his respects to Bush.

Gulley stood waiting next to his son's former football coach, 56-year-old Bill Powers. The two ran into each other here waiting for the train.

Powers says, "It's what he wanted because he wanted everybody to be together."

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1:45 p.m.

Crowds have lined the route of the special funeral train that is taking former President George H.W. Bush to the city where he'll be laid to rest.

People waved American flags and cheered as the number "4141" train passed by on its roughly 70-mile (115-kilometer) journey from the Houston suburb of Spring to College Station.

The casket of the 41st president is visible through large windows on the side of the train car.

Among those paying tribute to Bush was 38-year-old Andy Gordon, of Magnolia, who took his two young daughters to see the train as it passed through nearby Pinehurst.

He says, "Hopefully, my children will remember the significance and the meaning of today."

Bush will be buried later Thursday during a private service in the family's plot on the grounds of his presidential library.

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12:50 p.m.

A special funeral train carrying the casket of former President George H.W. Bush has begun its journey to College Station, where he will be buried during a private service in the family plot on the grounds of his presidential library.

The number "4141" train that left the Houston suburb of Spring during a light rain Thursday afternoon was painted to resemble Air Force One. It will take 41st president's casket, family and close friends about 70 miles (115 kilometers) through five small towns on a journey that's expected to take about two-and-a-half hours.

About 1,200 people attended a funeral service for the 41st president earlier Thursday at St. Martin's Episcopal Church in Houston, which is where the family worships.

Bush will be laid to rest alongside his wife, Barbara Bush, and their daughter Robin, who died of leukemia at age 3 in 1953.

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12:40 p.m.

The hearse carrying the body of former President George H.W. Bush has arrived at a Union Pacific facility north of Houston, where his casket will be placed on a special trainthat will take him to the city where he'll be laid to rest.

People lined the route from St. Martin's Episcopal Church in Houston to the train facility in Spring to pay tribute to the 41st president, who died last week at age 94.

Bush was remembered during a funeral service Thursday morning as a deeply religious family man.

The train will take his casket, family and closest friends about 70 miles (115 kilometers) to College Station, where Bush will be buried later Thursday during a private service at his presidential library.

Bush will be laid to rest alongside his wife, Barbara Bush, and their daughter Robin, who died of leukemia at age 3 in 1953.

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12:25 p.m.

A procession carrying the body of former President H.W. Bush is slowly making its way through Houston following a funeral at his family's church.

As the motorcade made its way through Houston early Thursday afternoon, police officers on horseback saluted, construction workers paused and truckers honked as the hearse drove by.

The motorcade is headed to a Union Pacific facility north of Houston, where a special funeral train will take Bush's casket, family and close friends to College Station for a private burial service at his presidential library.

The journey through five small Texas towns was expected to take about two-and-a-half hours.

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