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(KDKA) – Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf ordered the Commonwealth flag on the Capitol Complex, at all Commonwealth facilities and all public buildings and grounds throughout the commonwealth to fly at half-staff to honor former President George H.W. Bush on Saturday.
President Bush passed away Friday night.
“President George H.W. Bush was a kind and gentle man who dedicated his life to service, and he will be greatly missed,” Gov. Wolf said. “A decorated war hero and career public servant with extensive credentials, President Bush protected and brought honor to America.
“41 will be remembered for signing the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act, his post-presidency work on behalf of his fellow veterans, and bringing honor and grace to his service. Frances and I extend our deepest condolences to the Bush family.”
The Commonwealth flag will be lowered for 30 days and the United States flag should also be lowered to half-staff for this 30-day duration due to orders from the White House.
President Donald Trump, who, along with the first lady, will attend Bush’s funeral at the National Cathedral in Washington D.C. next week, will designate next Wednesday a National Day of Mourning, the White House said Saturday.
Statement from President Donald J. Trump and First Lady Melania Trump on the Passing of Former President George H.W. Bush pic.twitter.com/qxPsp4Ggs7
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 1, 2018
President Trump canceled a planned press conference at the G-20 summit in Argentina on Saturday, citing respect for former President Bush.
“I was very much looking forward to having a press conference just prior to leaving Argentina because we have had such great success in our dealing with various countries and their leaders at the G20,” Mr. Trump said in the first of two tweets. “However, out of respect for the Bush Family and former President George H.W. Bush we will wait until after the funeral to have a press conference.”
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge said, “Michele and I mourn the passing of a great man who was beloved by a nation and respected by the world,” said Ridge, who first met George H.W. Bush in 1980, when he was a Republican campaign organizer in Erie for President Bush’s first presidential bid. “A man guided by decency and humility. George H.W. Bush lived a life of service that few others ever have.
“A man who was the youngest to fly Navy jets as a teenager in World War II. Who skillfully guided the United States out of the Cold War. Whose deft political touch resulted in civil rights legislation that forever changed the lives of millions of Americans with disabilities. But most of all, President Bush adored his dear Barbara and his beautiful family. And how they adored him! George H.W. Bush was the very definition of an American life well lived. And he was a dear friend to us, which is a gift we will forever cherish.”
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Bush family,” Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald said in a statement. “George H. W. Bush’s death marks the end of an era, as the last World War II veteran to have served as president.
“He lived a life of service to our country – first as a naval aviator in World War II, then as a Texas Congressman, CIA Director, Vice President and President. Even after his presidency, he continued to serve with the creation of the Points of Light.
“President Bush’s life is an example to all of us of how to serve and to always put love of country in the forefront of that service.”
Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey said, “President George H.W. Bush was a great American patriot, dedicated public servant, tireless humanitarian, and a caring family man. Kris and I join the nation in mourning President Bush’s passing and send our condolences to his family.”
Pennsylvania Treasurer Joe Torsella also issued a statement, saying, ““I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing of President George H. W. Bush, and extend my deepest condolences to his family. America has lost one of her brightest points of light. It was the privilege of a lifetime to work with him in my time at the National Constitution Center, and a joy and blessing to have him as a friend and mentor in the years that followed. His decency, kindness, and grace were—and are—an inspiration.
“He was kind when he didn’t have to be, generous when it wasn’t required. His example taught me to be good, and then he personally taught me to be better.
“I hope all Americans—especially those with the privilege of serving, as he did, in office—will honor his memory by living up to his values, and bringing more of his compassion and sense of honor into our public life. Thank you, President Bush, for your extraordinary lifetime of service, and your indelible example.”