Hundreds Gather To Remember Barbara Bush In Private Service
HOUSTON - Some 1,500 guests are expected Saturday at a private funeral for Barbara Bush at the nation's largest Episcopal church. First lady Melania Trump, former President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton, and former President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama are among those expected to attend the by-invitation-only service at St. Martin's Episcopal Church in Houston.
Burial will follow at the Bush Library at Texas A&M University, about 100 miles northwest of Houston. The burial site is in a gated plot surrounded by trees and near a creek where the couple's 3-year-old daughter, Robin, who died of leukemia in 1953, is buried.
In a statement released Friday, the family said Barbara Bush had selected son Jeb Bush, the former Florida governor, to deliver a eulogy along with her longtime friend Susan Baker, wife of former Secretary of State James A. Baker III, and historian Jon Meacham, who wrote a 2015 biography of her husband.
Thousands of people on Friday paid respects to Barbara Bush, wife of the nation's 41st president and mother of the nation's 43rd. Bush died Tuesday at her Houston home. She was 92.
You can watch coverage of the service in the video player above and follow along below for updates.
Melania Trump, Obamas, Clintons arrive
First Lady Melania Trump walked into the church, followed by former first lady Michelle Obama, former President Barack Obama, former President Bill Clinton, and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
They were seated together in the front rows.
Trump says he'll be watching service
As he left his golf course in Florida, Mr. Trump tweeted that he will be watching the ceremony from Mar-a-Lago, the "Southern White House."
"Will be a beautiful day!" he said.
Heading to the Southern White House to watch the Funeral Service of Barbara Bush. First Lady Melania has arrived in Houston to pay our respects. Will be a beautiful day!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 21, 2018
List of anticipated guests.
Among the hundreds attending Saturday, a number of them are well-known.
Aside from the Obamas, First Lady Melania Trump and more, other attending officials include, according to CBS 11 News in Dallas: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and his wife, Cecilia Abbott; Sen. Lamar Alexander, who was the education secretary during George H.W. Bush's presidency; former Vice President Dick Cheney; former Vice President Dan Quayle; former national security adviser Condoleeza Rice; and Ann Romney, wife of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.
Guests arriving to celebrate former first lady's life
Guests have begun arriving early to remember the former first lady in Houston, hours ahead of the ceremony's start time. The sky this Saturday in Houston is overcast, and the flags are at half-mast.
President Trump will not be among those guests. He is golfing at his club in Palm Beach, Fla., having sent his wife Melania Trump in his place. The White House had saidhe intended to stay away to avoid a hassle and respect the family.
"First Lady Melania Trump will attend the memorial service for Barbara Bush this Saturday on behalf of the First Family," press secretary Sarah Sanders said Friday. "To avoid disruptions due to added security, and out of respect for the Bush Family and friends attending the service, President Trump will not attend."
On Saturday morning, the president was attacking New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman on Twitter on the way to his golf club.