George H.W. Bush’s state funeral arrangements: what we know

The former Republican president died Friday at age 94.

As is customary for former heads of state, President George H.W. Bush, who died on Friday at age 94, will be honored with a state funeral.

Bush, who was one of the last politically influential pragmatists in the Republican Party, will lie in state in the US Capitol Rotunda, before a funeral at the National Cathedral. After those ceremonies, his body will be returned to Texas for burial.

Further details are yet to be announced, but political figures on both sides of the aisle have begun paying their respects and expressing condolences to the Bush family, from the Obamas to Speaker of the House Paul Ryan. President Donald Trump has also declared Wednesday, December 5 a national day of mourning.

The Bush family said they will release more information “as soon as is practical” — something that could to take up to 24 hours. Here’s what we know so far:

What we know

  • President George H.W. Bush will lie in state in the US Capitol Rotunda starting Monday December 3, with the public invited to pay their respects from 7:30 pm that night until 7 am Wednesday.
  • President Trump has issued an executive order to close down most federal government offices on Wednesday as a mark of respect.
  • The Bush family will be partnering with the Department of Defense’s Task Force-National Capital Region to make arrangements for the funeral, according to the late president’s website.
  • A state funeral is a seven to 10 day event, consisting of three stages. According to the Joint Task Force website: “Stage I includes ceremonies within the state in which the president, former president, or president-elect was in residence. Stage II includes ceremonies within Washington, DC, and Stage III includes ceremonies in the state in which the authorized individual has chosen to be interred.”
  • Though he was born in Massachusetts and grew up in Connecticut, Bush spent most of his life in Texas, and was living there when he died. He is expected be buried at the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library in College Station, Texas.
  • The ceremonies in the capital will be held at the National Cathedral, according to a statement from White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, with both Trump and the first lady in attendance.

“President Trump is scheduled to speak with President George W. Bush this morning and offer his condolences on behalf of himself, the first lady, and the entire country. A state funeral is being arranged with all of the accompanying support and honors. The president will designate Wednesday, December 5th as a National Day Of Mourning. He and the first lady will attend the funeral at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.”

What we don’t know

  • Exact dates and times for most of the ceremonies
  • Where the ceremonies in Texas will be held
  • What other prominent politicians will be in attendance