Former First Lady Michelle Obama remembered former President George H.W. Bush with a heartwarming photo taken during one of Bush's visits to the oval office while President Barack Obama was still in office.
In the photo, Bush is shown wearing his trademark creative socks, while Obama bent down to receive a kiss on the cheek.
"As a public servant, father, and grandfather, President George H.W. Bush was an extraordinary example for us all," Obama wrote. "His spirit of service and decency will be missed by many, including our family. I hope his memory will be a guiding light for our country and those around the world."
As a public servant, father, and grandfather, President George H.W. Bush was an extraordinary example for us all. His spirit of service and decency will be missed by many, including our family. I hope his memory will be a guiding light for our country and those around the world. pic.twitter.com/jUSU82TnO1— Michelle Obama (@MichelleObama) December 1, 2018
Although Presidents Obama and Bush were members of opposing parties, Bush frequently visited the White House during the Obama Administration. In 2011, President Obama presented Bush with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor, in recognition of his service to the country.
After Bush's death on Friday at age 94, President Obama issued his own statement.
"America has lost a patriot and humble servant in George Herbert Walker Bush. While our hearts are heavy today, they are also filled with gratitude," the statement read. "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 also praised Bush's foreign policy successes during his one term as president, including helping to end the Cold War and engineering the international coalition to remove Saddam Hussein from Kuwait during the Persian Gulf War. He also hoped that Bush's service to the country will inspire others to do the same.
"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,'" Obama 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," Obama continued. "Our thoughts are with the entire Bush family tonight – and all who were inspired by George and Barbara’s example."
Bush will lie in state in the U.S. Capitol rotunda, beginning on Monday through Wednesday. President Donald Trump also declared Wednesday a national day of mourning, and directed all federal agencies to be closed that day, reports USA Today.
Details of the funeral have not been announced, but Trump and First Lady Melania Trump said they will attend the funeral service at the National Cathedral. Ceremonies are also being planned for his presidential library in College Station, Texas, where First Lady Barbara Bush and their daughter Robin, who died at age 3 in 1953, are buried.
Photo credit: Ethan Miller/Getty Images