There are a but a handful of moments in time where you know you are observing history. Other moments you may not realize are history, but they stay with you for years. For me, presidential funerals are such events.
I’ll never forget watching Ronald Regan’s funeral in 2004. Being from Illinois, as was the 40th president, one of the most memorable moments for me was how his final flight from Washington D.C. to California passed over his home state.
Today, we say goodbye to the 41st president, George Herbert Walker Bush.
It was chilling to listen to the church bells toll in the silent church as his flag-draped casket was carried in. To hear Hail to the Chief played for him once more. To watch him leave Washington for the last time.
Striking, too, was how death proves one of the few events that can overcome commerce and political strife. Not only was Wall Street closed for a Day of Mourning, the current and previous presidents and their wives gathered beside one another to say goodbye to one of their own. In how many countries would so many leaders be present together?
While I know my one year old won’t remember watching the funeral with me today, I am grateful for the opportunity to share such a moment with him. Tomorrow the world will return to its hectic pace of political opinions, monetary striving, and wondering if America is really as great as we claim. But for a few hours today, we pause to remember a man we called President.