Former President George H.W. Bush finished his journey on Thursday after he was laid to rest at his presidential library in College Station, Texas. He was buried alongside wife, former First Lady Barbara Bush, and their daughter, Pauline "Robin" Bush.
Bush, who served as president for one term from 1989 to 1993, was buried after a second memorial service, held at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Houston.
Bush died late Friday at age 94, eight months after Barbara Bush's death at age 92. Their daughter Robin died at age 3 in 1953 from leukemia. From Monday afternoon until Wednesday morning, his casket was in the U.S. Capitol rotunda in Washington, D.C. to allow the public an opportunity to pay their respects.
Scroll on for a look at Bush's burial on Thursday.
Photo credit: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
During the memorial Thursday, Bush's eldest grandson, George P. Bush, delivered the final eulogy. George P. Bush is the son of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and the Land Commissioner of Texas.
"In our times together, our big, wonderful, and competitive family saw the personal goodness that lead to his historical greatness," George P. Bush said Thursday. "He left a simple yet profound legacy to his children, to his grandchildren, and to this country. Service. Undoubtedly, when the last words are written on him, they will certainly include this, that the fulfillment of a complete life cannot be achieved without service to others."prevnext
Bush Wanted to Reunite with Robin in Heaven
After Bush's death, his granddaughter Jenna Bush Hager, the daughter of President George W. Bush, wrote on Instagram that her father told her he wanted to reunite with Robin in Heaven.
"I asked who he hoped to see. He replied, 'I hope I see Robin, and I hope I see my mom. I haven’t yet figured it out if it will be Robin as the three year old that she was, this kind of chubby, vivacious child or if she’ll come as a middle-aged woman, an older woman,'" Bush Hager wrote. "And then he said, 'I hope she’s the three-year-old.' Robin was the daughter this giant of a man lost years before to leukemia. The little girl he held tightly: who spoke the phrase I have heard Gampy repeat for my entire life, forever knitting Robin’s voice into the tightly woven fabric of our family: 'I love you more than tongue can tell.'"prevnext
'Dad is Hugging Robin and Holding Mom's Hand Again'
In his eulogy at the memorial in Washington, former President George W. Bush mentioned how his father always dreamed of hugging Robin again.
Robin was Bush and Barbara Bush's second child, following George W. Bush. Jeb Bush was only a few months old at the time of Robin's death.
"Your decency, sincerity, and kind soul will stay with us forever," George W. Bush said Wednesday. "So through our tears, let us know the blessings of knowing and loving you, a great and noble man. The best father a son or daughter could have. And in our grief, let us smile knowing that Dad is hugging Robin and holding Mom's hand again."prevnext
'She Is Still With Us'
After Robin's death in 1953, she never truly left the Bushes' hearts. In one letter to his mother in 1958, Bush wrote that he still felt Robin was with them.
"There is about our house a need. We need some soft blonde hair to offset those crew cuts," the letter read. "We need a doll house to stand firm against our forts and racquets and thousand baseball cards. We need someone who’s afraid of frogs. We need a little one who can kiss without leaving egg or jam or gum. We need a girl. We had one once — she’d fight and cry and play and make her way, just like the rest. But there was about her a certain softness. She was patient. Her hugs were a just little less wiggly ... But she is still with us. We need her and yet we have her. We can’t touch her and yet we can feel her. We hope she’ll stay in our house for a long, long time. Love, Pop."
The Bushes finally had another girl in 1959, when Dorothy Walker "Doro" Bush Koch was born.prevnext
Robin's Death Helped Bush Understand Those with Terminal Illnesses
Robin's death had a profound impact on Bush, and it influenced his politics on helping others. During his presidency, he signed the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. During his eulogy, Bush biographer Jon Meacham told the story of a moment when Bush cried when meeting a young boy in Krakow, Poland with leukemia.
"As vice president, Bush once visited a children’s leukemia ward in Krakow. Thirty-five years before, he and Barbara had lost a daughter, Robin, to the disease. In Krakow, a small boy wanted to greet the American vice president. Learning that the child was sick with the cancer that had taken Robin, Bush began to cry," Meacham said.
The author continued, "To his diary later that day, the vice president said this: 'My eyes flooded with tears. And behind me was a bank of television cameras. And I thought, ‘I can’t turn around. I can’t dissolve because of personal tragedy in the face of the nurses that give of themselves every day.’ So I stood there looking at this little guy, tears running down my cheek, hoping he wouldn’t see. But if he did, hoping he’d feel that I loved him.'"prevnext
'I Love You More Than Tongue Can Tell'
In October 1987, Bush prepared to announce his run for the presidency, following two terms as President Ronald Reagan's vice president. As USA Today notes, he was thinking about Robin that day.
“Bar looks beautiful,” he wrote in his diary of his wife. Then, he added, “Thirty-four years ago today, Robin died.”
Bush often mentioned Robin in his letters. He would also use the phrase “I love you more than tongue can tell.” It's a phrase that comes from Joy Allison's poem "Which Loved Best?" and the last words Robin told her father.prevnext
Bush Mentioned Robin in his 1990 AIDS Speech
When Bush finally addressed the AIDS epidemic in a March 1990 speech, he mentioned Robin for the only time during his presidency.
"Our goal is to turn irrational fear into rational facts. Every American must learn what AIDS is and what AIDS is not. And they must learn now," the president said at the time. ''When our own daughter was dying of leukemia, we asked the doctor the same question every H.I.V. family must ask - why - why this was happening to our beautiful little girl. And the doctor said: 'You have to realize that every well person is a miracle. It takes billions of cells to make a well person. And all it takes is one cell to be bad to destroy a whole person.''prevnext
Bush Wanted to Die Before Spending a Christmas Without Barbara Bush0comments
In an interview with PEOPLE, President George W. Bush's daughter Barbara Pierce Bush said she feels her grandfather wanted to die before he would have to spend a Christmas without her grandmother.
"He’d never spent a Christmas without my grandmother," Barbara told the magazine. “He was ready to be with her again. He never said it, but my thought is that he wanted to be with her for the holiday.”prev