Bush’s biographer remembers president as ‘last great soldier-statesman’

George H.W. Bush was remembered as the “last great soldier-statesman” at his funeral at Washington National Cathedral by his biographer, Jon Meacham, who recounted the former president’s service as a pilot in World War II.

He described how Bush, who died last Friday at the age of 94 at his Houston home, was shot down as a pilot in the Pacific, but guided his plane to the target before he ditched it.

Finding himself in the waters of the Pacific, “The future 41st president of the United States was alone,” Meacham said.

“He felt the weight of responsibility as a nearly physical burden and he wept,” Meacham said.

But Bush had survived.

“The story, his story and ours would go on by God’s grace,” said Meacham, who wrote “Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush.”

The biographer said Bush from that moment on worked to “prove himself worthy of his salvation on that distant morning.”

“There were always more missions to undertake, more lives to touch and more love to give. And what a headlong race he made of it all. He never slowed down,” he said.

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