Solemn public pays tribute to Bush before dawn in Rotunda

REUTERS  Kamil Krzaczynski

Trump, whose ascendancy to the head of the Republican Party saw him exchange vitriolic attacks with the establishment Bushes, has taken pains to demonstrate unity since the death of former president George H.W. Bush, aged 94, on Friday.

Former President George H.W. Bush's recently maligned service dog, Sully, was among the mourners who filed into the U.S. Capitol to remember the late president Tuesday afternoon. Even before he arrived at his new home with Bush, Sully had his own Instagram page.

"This will be about the celebration of the noble public service that George H.W. Bush gave". She poses with three members of the residence staff in the second photo.

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"Looking forward to being with the Bush Family to pay my respects to President George H.W. Bush", Trump tweeted Monday morning.

Located across Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House, Blair House is the official guest house for US presidents. The Bushes are staying there. Bush is survived by five children, including former president George Bush and former Florida governor and presidential candidate Jeb Bush, and 17 grandchildren. He and Trump shook hands.

After services in Washington, Bush's remains will be returned to Houston to lie in repose at St. Martin's Episcopal Church before burial Thursday at his family plot on the presidential library grounds at Texas A&M University in College Station. One of 41's last wishes was for Sully to continue to serve. His final resting place will be alongside Barbara Bush, his wife of 73 years who died in April, and Robin Bush, the daughter they lost to leukemia in 1953 at age 3.

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With a chorus of cannons booming a salute, the late president was carried by military honor guard up the steps and into the Rotunda, what one senator dubbed the nation's "hallowed cathedral", for days of carefully choreographed pomp befitting a now-beloved chief executive.

The former president was eulogized by both Vice President Mike Pence and House Speaker Paul Ryan, among other politicians.

The Postal Service announced that it will be closed on Wednesday, December 5, 2018 on the national day of mourning that was declared by President Trump's executive order closing federal offices. Many banks and other businesses also will shut down, and government buildings are flying flags at half-staff until December 30.

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