On Friday, November 30th, the world lost America’s 41st President, George H.W. Bush. He is known for his incredible accomplishments throughout his military, business, and political careers. Bush was the youngest pilot in the U.S. Navy during World War II and flew 58 combat missions, having a near death experience. He went on to graduate from college at Yale and serve in the U.S. House of Representatives, Ambassador to the United Nations, Chairman of the Republican National Committee, Director of the CIA, Vice President, and of course, the 41st President to hold office. On top of his tangible achievements, George Bush was considered a family man, friend, mentor, and grandfather figure to almost everyone he encountered. Stories have flooded the media praising his service, character, generosity, and love of country and her people.
Below are just a few words of wisdom he shared throughout his lifetime.
“I do not mistrust the future; I do not fear what is ahead. For our problems are large, but our heart is larger.”
“The anchor in our world today is freedom, holding us steady in times of change, a symbol of hope to all the world.”
“We are a nation of communities…a brilliant diversity spread like stars, like a thousand points of light in a broad and peaceful sky.”
“I will keep America moving forward, always forward, for a better America, for an endless enduring dream and a thousand Points of Light. This is my mission, and I will complete it.”
“We know what works. Freedom works. We know what’s right. Freedom is right.”
“America is never wholly herself unless she is engaged in high moral principle. We as a people have such a purpose today. It is to make kinder the face of the nation and gentler the face of the world.”
“Our nation is the enduring dream of every immigrant who ever set foot on these shores, and the millions still struggling to be free…this idea called America, was and always will be a new world.”
On his endless love for Barbara, his wife: “I have climbed perhaps the highest mountain in the world, but even that cannot hold a candle to being Barbara’s husband.”
One of his more humorous journal entries: “The broccoli war is heating up. On March 21st, the Broccoli Association announces they’re sending a couple of tons of the stuff, but I’m sticking with my position that I hate broccoli. I think I’ll get Barbara, who likes broccoli, to go out and greet the broccoli caravan. I refuse to give an inch on this, and I so advised the press. I can’t stand the stuff; it smells up everything; and I’m against it.”
In his inaugural address: “We cannot hope only to leave our children a bigger car, a bigger bank account. We must hope to give them a sense of what it means to be a loyal friend, a loving parent, a citizen who leaves his home, his neighborhood and town better than he found it. What do we want the men and women who work with us to say when we are no longer there? That we were more driven to succeed than anyone around us? Or that we stopped to ask if a sick child had gotten better, and stayed a moment there to trade a word of friendship?’’
“When the really tough choices come . . . it’s not about Democrats or Republicans. It’s for our country that I fought for.”
As he was leaving office “I think of the happiness we’ve had here. Somebody points out, “Well, the polls look good today—you’re leaving with people liking you.” And I’m saying, “Well that’s nice, that’s very nice, but I didn’t finish the job.” They may be pleasant in that way, but I don’t think they know my heartbeat.”
Mike Pence shared his personal experiences with the President at the Capitol rotunda ceremony. Much to their surprise, Bush had written Pence’s son, a Marine pilot, a personal reply after receiving his letter. He wrote, “Congratulations on receiving your ‘wings of gold.’ I know how proud you and your family are at this moment… Though we have not met, I share the pride your father has for you during this momentous occasion. And I wish you many CAVU days ahead. All the best, G Bush.” Bush used this military acronym, CAVU- Ceiling and Visibility Unlimited, as one of his life mottos.