The Nation Mourns George H. W. Bush

By The Maritime Executive 12-04-2018 05:51:55

U.S. President Donald Trump declared Wednesday a national day of mourning for former President George Herbert Walker Bush who died last Friday at the age of 94. 

On Tuesday, as George H. W. Bush lay in state at the United States Capitol, Vice President Mike Pence honored him, saying: "While he was known as the ‘quiet man,' it was not for lack of nerve or daring. For in all of his 94 years, President Bush never lost his love of adventure and he never failed to answer the call to serve his country.”

Born into a tradition of public service, George Herbert Walker Bush began his own life of service when he was still in high school.  After the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor in December of 1941, he wanted to do his part, so he enlisted in the United States Navy on his 18th birthday.

On receiving his wings, he became the nation’s youngest naval aviator, and was sent to the South Pacific where his story almost ended. September 1944, on a bombing raid over Chichijima, his aircraft was hit, his engine caught fire, but he still managed to hit his target before bailing out and being rescued by American forces after some four hours at sea.

All told, he flew 58 combat missions, and for his bravery under fire, he earned the Distinguished Flying Cross. 

For eight years, Bush served as the 43rd Vice President of the United States, and then, in 1988, he was elected as the 41st President of the United States of America, becoming the first sitting Vice President to win the presidency in more than 150 years.

Bush oversaw the fall of the Soviet Union, the crumbling of the Berlin Wall, and under his leadership, America won the Cold War. “He took our nation to war to repel aggression in the Persian Gulf and, through his leadership as commander in chief and the brilliance of our armed forces, the United States won a decisive victory,” said Pence.

“When President George Herbert Walker Bush left office, he left America and the world more peaceful, prosperous and secure.

“President Bush was a great leader who made a great difference in the life of this nation.  But he was also just a good man who was devoted to his wife, his family and his friends.”