George H.W. Bush expected to lie in state in US Capitol; Trump to attend funeral

George H.W. Bush expected to lie in state in US Capitol; Trump to attend funeral
George H. W. Bush wearing a suit and tieA senior congressional source told Fox News Saturday that former President George H.W. Bush, who died Friday at age 94, is expected to lie in state in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda — a move that has become customary to honor the passing of former presidents.

Bush, who spent a lifetime in public service and served as the 41st president between 1989 and 1993, died shortly after 10 p.m. Friday, about eight months after the death of his wife, Barbara Bush.

He is survived by five children, including former President George W. Bush and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. A sixth child died in early childhood. The late former president also is survived by 17 grandchildren.


The last president to lie in state was President Gerald Ford in late 2006-early 2007. President Ronald Reagan lied in state in June 2004.

However, the last two people to lie in state were not presidents: Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, in 2012 and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., this year.

Rev. Billy Graham did not lie in state earlier this year. He lied in honor — one step down from lying in state — although the ceremony looks very similar.

President Richard Nixon did not lie in state in 1994, as his family thought visitors to the Capitol might not be respectful.

Fox News is told that Bush could come to the Capitol to lie in state as early as Monday night. As is standard with former presidents, Fox is told that the Capitol would be open 24/7 for people to file past the casket and pay their respects.

When someone lies in state in the Capitol Rotunda, the casket is placed in the center of the room on the catafalque, the wooden platform used for President Lincoln’s funeral in 1865. The casket is draped with an American flag and an honor guard stands vigil around the clock.

The Rotunda is usually permitted to file past the casket after formal and family ceremonies. The remains of Presidents usually lie in state for a couple of days.

So, if President Bush is to lie in state, it may happen late next week, just as Congress is also trying to avoid a partial government shutdown.

The White House said Saturday that President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump will attend Bush’s funeral at the National Cathedral in Washington D.C. Trump has also designated December 5 as a National Day of Mourning.

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