Post office, other federal offices closed for Bush funeral services

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There will be a national day of mourning Wednesday to honor the late former President George H.W. Bush, who died Friday night at 94.

Wreaths were placed at the casket by congressional leaders from both parties, as the Bush family, including former President George W. Bush looked on.

Bush will be honoured at a state funeral service at the cathedral on Wednesday, which Trump has declared a national day of mourning. The others are Alan Simpson, the former senator and acerbic wit from Wyoming; Brian Mulroney, the former Canadian prime minister who also gave a eulogy for Ronald Reagan; and presidential historian Jon Meacham. Trump then saluted Bush, a gesture belying the history of antipathy between the Republican president and the Bush family. President Trump is expected to attend along with former Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter.

Official portrait of George H.W. Bush, former President of the United States of America.

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The late president's eulogists - son included - noted Bush's tendency to tangle his words and show his goofy side.

Bush, who served as the 41st US president between 1989 and 1993, died on November 30th at the age of 94.

With Bush's casket atop the Lincoln Catafalque, first used for Abraham Lincoln's 1865 funeral, dignitaries came forward Monday to honor the Texan whose efforts for his country extended three quarters of a century from World War II through his final years as an advocate for volunteerism and relief for people displaced by natural disaster.

Trump tweeted Wednesday that the day marked "a celebration for a great man who has led a long and distinguished life".

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The Trumps made a brief visit to the Capitol rotunda, where Bush's flag-draped coffin was resting as part of tributes to honor the 41st United States president and remember his extraordinary life.

The dog was assigned earlier this year as a service dog to Bush, who used a wheelchair in the last years of his life.

"But, you know, my grandfather, my uncle and my dad, they taught me you get back up and you fight again", said Bush, "so I'm focused on my job in Texas". An invitation-only funeral service, which the Trumps will attend, is set for Wednesday at Washington National Cathedral.

"Here lies a great man", said House speaker Paul Ryan. John McCain, which was marked by implicit references to Trump and his behavior as president. President Bush will be laid to rest Thursday at his presidential library on the Texas A&M University campus, where his wife Barbara and their daughter Robin are also buried.

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