Alabama officials react to President George H.W. Bush’s passing
Former President George Herbert Walker Bush passed away on Friday, and Alabama leaders took to social media to mourn and pay tribute to the nation’s 41st president.
Bush lived a life dedicated to the highest order of public service. Long before his famous “Points of Light” presidential initiative that promoted volunteerism and community service, he personified his belief that “there could be no definition of a successful life that does not include service to others.”
Husband to Barbara – who passed away in April – and father to George W., Jeb, Neil, Marvin, Doro and Robin, Bush’s exemplary service began on his 18th birthday when he enlisted in the Navy. He went on to fight in World War II, even becoming the youngest ever naval aviator at the time in 1943.
His historic career after the war reached the zeniths of business and politics. Before his presidency from 1989-1993, Bush was an oil tycoon, a congressman, Ambassador to the United Nations, Republican National Committee Chairman, chief liaison to China, Director of Central Intelligence and Vice President.
Alabama’s political leaders shared their thoughts about Bush, the nation’s longest living president.
In a release, Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) said, “President George H.W. Bush was a true American statesman and hero. He dedicated his life to serving the country he loved for more than 70 years. From a young Naval aviator shot down in WWII to Commander-in-Chief, President Bush led our nation with integrity, honor, and measure. Annette and I join all Americans in mourning his passing. His legacy of humility and devotion will never be forgotten.”
Senator Doug Jones Statement on the Passing of Former President George H.W. Bush: pic.twitter.com/3Tpxh1gINr
— Doug Jones (@SenDougJones) December 1, 2018
In accordance with U.S. Code, Governor Kay Ivey (R-AL) has ordered flags to half-staff for 30 days of mourning.
“President George H.W. Bush was a true statesman and patriot who served our country in the U.S. Navy during World War II and later as Congressman, Ambassador, CIA Director, Vice President and President. The honor he showed our people will live on long after today. He was a leader for us all, and his presence will be truly missed. I pray for the Bush Family as they mourn the death of their father, grandfather, great-grandfather and our 41st President,” Ivey said in a statement.
“George H.W. Bush was an American hero who served our nation in WWII, as a Congressman, as UN Ambassador, as CIA Director, as Vice President, and as our 41st President. The nation will be forever grateful for his lifetime of service. Prayers to the entire Bush family,” Congressman Bradley Byrne (AL-1) tweeted.
In a statement, Byrne added, “George H.W. Bush was an American hero and icon. Throughout his 94 years, he served our nation in so many ways, and he accomplished so much. Despite all of this, I think the life of George H.W. Bush is best summed up in a very simple phrase: he was a good man. May God be with the Bush family and a grateful nation as we mourn and remember a good man and an American hero.”
In a tweet, Congresswoman Martha Roby (AL-2) said, “Sad news tonight as we mourn the passing of our 41st President, George H.W. Bush. He was a remarkable American who served this country honorably. He will be dearly missed. My prayers are with the Bush family during this time.”
Congressman Mike Rogers (AL-3) tweeted, “Sending heartfelt prayers to the Bush family this morning after the passing of President George H.W. Bush. The world lost a great man today who will be remembered for a lifetime of service.”
I’m very sorry to hear of the passing of former President George H.W. Bush. He was not only our 41st President, but a hero of WWII who was the epitome of the Greatest Generation.
— Rep. Robert Aderholt (@Robert_Aderholt) December 1, 2018
Congressman Gary Palmer (AL-6) tweeted, “I am deeply saddened by the passing of President George H.W. Bush. He was an example to me of an honorable public servant and of character, compassion, and courage. Ann and I send condolences to the Bush family and thank God for his dedication to America and his example.”
In a tweet, Congresswoman Terri Sewell (AL-7) remarked, “In the Navy, the CIA, and in the Oval Office, President George H.W. Bush dedicated his life to serving. He was a true patriot who put his country first. Today my prayers are with the whole Bush family.”
Attorney General Steve Marshall (R-AL) said, “Saddened to learn of the passing of America’s 41st Commander-in-Chief, President George H. W. Bush this evening. He and first Lady Barbara Bush epitomized grace and character. We lost them both in the same year. Our prayers go out to the Bush family.”
Kendall, our children, and I join our fellow Alabamians in mourning the passing of President George H.W. Bush. From his service as the youngest Navy pilot in WWII to the various offices he held to his years in the Oval Office, he blazed a trail across the pages of U.S. history. pic.twitter.com/50SQodh4N3
— Will Ainsworth (@willainsworthAL) December 1, 2018
In a release, Speaker Mac McCutcheon (R-Monrovia) commented, “President George H.W. Bush epitomized all that is great about public service. A man of means who could have lived a life of comfort and relaxation, he chose instead to open himself to the criticism that politics and difficult decisions often bring.”
“Our nation is better off for the service that he gallantly offered both in office and as a veteran of World War II. During his presidency, the Berlin Wall fell, the Iron Curtain was finally parted, and our world became more stable and secure under his watch,” he continued.
McCutcheon concluded, “President Bush is now reunited with his beloved Barbara and the daughter, Robin, that they lost. History will be kind to him, which is just and deserved.”
On behalf of the Alabama House Republican Caucus, Majority Leader Nathaniel Ledbetter (R-Rainsville) released the following statement:
“The members of the Alabama House Republican Caucus join the rest of the nation and freedom-loving people around the world in mourning the loss of President George H.W. Bush.
He will be considered among the greatest of our one-term presidents, and most will agree that our nation would have been spared much drama and turmoil had he been elected to a second term.
He was both a gentleman and a gentle man who offered an example for others to follow. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family as they celebrate 94 years of a life well lived.”
Our prayers are with the Bush family tonight.
— ALGOP (@ALGOP) December 1, 2018
The Alabama Republican Party released the following statement:
“The Alabama Republican Party extends our deepest condolences to the family and friends of President George H.W. Bush. Our nation not only mourns a great president, but a great man. As a dedicated husband, father and grandfather, he spent a lifetime proudly caring and supporting those he loved the most.
A WWII veteran, member of the U.S. House of Representatives, U.N. Ambassador and Republican National Committee Chair, the 41st President of our United States dedicated his life to earnestly and courageously serving the American public.
We are deeply grateful for the way President George H. W. Bush loved and led America. Now and in the years to come, we will remember President George H.W. Bush and the lasting impact his legacy leaves behind. He truly is a point of light in our country’s history.
May his faith in God be a great comfort to his family and all who love him.”
Our son, now grown, says it best – “Rest in Peace, Mr. President. I’ll always remember your kindness, your love of country, and your urging on of all of us to serve in causes greater than ourselves. Hail and Farewell.” pic.twitter.com/YhNWciAvRn
— Luther Strange (@lutherstrange) December 1, 2018
Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn