The last president of the Greatest Generation, George H. W. Bush, passed away at 94 late Friday at his home in Houston.
On his 18th birthday, H.W. joined the U.S. Navy and became its youngest aircraft pilot. H.W. was a true WW2 hero. Bush flew 58 combat missions over the Pacific. On September 2, 1944 his torpedo bomber was shot down by the Japanese. Bush managed to parachute out and was rescued by a U.S. submarine before he could be captured by the enemy.
H.W. served two terms in Congress. President Nixon made him his Ambassador to the United Nations. President Ford appointed him ambassador to China. Later Ford appointed H.W. as Director of the CIA. He served as Vice President under President Reagan.
George H.W. Bush was arguably the most highly qualified ever candidate for President of the United States. In contrast, take the records of community organizer Barack Obama and real estate mogul Donald Trump, and we have the two least qualified presidential candidates ever.
As president, H. W. will be remembered for presiding over the collapse of the Soviet Union and the reunification of Germany. He signed the START 1 nuclear weapons treaty. And under his leadership our military dealt a smashing defeat to Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi forces in the Gulf War following Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait.
H.W. was married to his wife Barbara for 73 years. Together they had 6 children, 17 grandchildren and 8 great-grandchildren. Their daughter Robin died of leukemia in 1953 at age 3. Barbara Bush was one classy lady. She preceded H.W. in death on April 17th of this year.
President Bush will be buried alongside Barbara on the grounds of the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum at Texas A&M University.
H.W. was long criticized by conservatives as a RINO (Republican in name only) because of his moderate views and for reaching ‘across the isle’ to make deals with Democrats. When many in the GOP turned against him, President Bush lost his bid for a second term.
Some people will choose to remember Bush only for his broken promise of “Read my lips, no new taxes!” But Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen got it exactly right when they paid tribute to Bush by saying he served his country with “modesty, integrity, and patriotism” and made the world “more peaceful, prosperous and secure.”
I have no doubt that George H. W. Bush will be judged by history as one of the great presidents of the United States. And well he should be!