Obama issued a lengthy statement on Bush's death that championed the 41st President's achievements and dedication to his country.
"America has lost a patriot and humble servant in George Herbert Walker Bush," Obama wrote. "While our hearts are heavy today, they are also filled with gratitude. Not merely for the years he spent as our forty-first President, but for the more than 70 years he spent in devoted service to the country he loved – from a decorated Naval aviator who nearly gave his life in World War II, to Commander-in-Chief of our Armed Forces, with plenty of posts along the way. Ambassador to the United Nations. Director of Central Intelligence. U.S. Envoy to China. Vice President of the United States."
Obama then championed Bush's immigration policies, as well as his support for those with disabilities. He also applauded his diplomatic actions as the Cold War came to a close.
"George H.W. Bush’s life is a testament to the notion that public service is a noble, joyous calling. And he did tremendous good along the journey," Obama wrote. "It's a legacy of service that may never be matched, even though he’d want all of us to try."
The 44th POTUS also acknowledged Bush's relationship to Barbara Bush, which lasted 73 years up until Barbara's death in April.
"After seventy-three years of marriage, George and Barbara Bush are together again now, two points of light that never dimmed, two points of light that ignited countless others with their example – the example of a man who, even after commanding the world’s mightiest military, once said 'I got more of a kick out of being one of the founders of the YMCA in Midland, Texas back in 1952 than almost anything I’ve done,'" he wrote. "What a testament to the qualities that make this country great. Service to others. Commitment to leaving behind something better. Sacrifice in the name of lifting this country closer to its founding ideals. Our thoughts are with the entire Bush family tonight – and all who were inspired by George and Barbara’s example."
It has not yet been stated whether or not Obama and his wife Michelle will attend Bush's funeral, as funeral arrangements have not yet been announced.
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