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No president was ‘more courageous, more principled and more honourable’ than George H.W. Bush, Mulroney says in eulogy

No president was ‘more courageous, more principled and more honourable’ than George H.W. Bush, Mulroney says in eulogy
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WASHINGTON—No American president was “more courageous, more principled and more honourable than George Herbert Walker Bush,” former Canadian prime minister Brian Mulroney said in an eulogy at Wednesday’s state funeral.

“Let me tell you that, when George Bush was president of the United States of America, every single head of government in the world knew that they were dealing with a gentleman. A genuine leader. One who was distinguished, resolute and brave,” Mulroney, a longtime friend of Bush, said at the National Cathedral in Washington.

Former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney delivers an eulogy of former U.S. President George H.W. Bush at the latter’s State Funeral.  (ANDREW HARNIK / AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

Mulroney hailed Bush for his World War II military service; his handling of the implosion of the Soviet Union; the North American Free Trade Agreement he negotiated, and his “strong” environmental efforts, including a 1991 acid rain treaty with Canada that Mulroney described as a “splendid gift to future generations.”

“There’s a word for this: It’s called leadership. Leadership,” Mulroney said.

Bush’s son, former president George W. Bush, delivered the last eulogy. Others were given by Bush biographer Jon Meacham and former Republican senator Alan Simpson.

George H.W. Bush, a Republican who served as president from 1989 to 1993, died on Dec. 1 at age 94.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau ordered flags lowered to half-mast on Wednesday at federal buildings in Canada and the U.S., including the embassy in Washington. His government was represented at the funeral by Ambassador David MacNaughton and MP Scott Brison.

“He was a man of great civility, a great patriot and a true friend of Canada,” Scott Brison said on Twitter.

Members of the Canadian military stood and saluted as Bush’s hearse passed the embassy on Pennsylvania Ave.

The funeral drew together political adversaries. President Donald Trump, who has mocked Bush and his politician sons, was seated beside Democrats Barack and Michelle Obama, Bill and Hillary Clinton and Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter.

Meacham remembered Bush as “America’s last great soldier statesman, a 20th century founding father,” who stood firm against both totalitarianism and “unthinking partisanship.”

“An imperfect man, he left us a more perfect union,” Meacham said.

Brian Mulroney, Progressive Conservative prime minister from 1984 to 1993, said that Bush asked him to speak about three years ago. Mulroney also spoke at the funeral for Bush’s Republican predecessor, Ronald Reagan, in 2004.
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