Remembering 41

A reflection on the life and legacy of President George H.W. Bush

%28C-Span%29
Back to Article
Back to Article

Remembering 41

(C-Span)

(C-Span)

(C-Span)

(C-Span)

Matthew Goins, Editor-in chief

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






President George H.W. Bush once said, “the American Dream means giving it your all, trying your hardest, accomplishing something. And then I’d add to that, giving something back. No definition of a successful life can do anything but include serving others.” It is certainly no doubt that President Bush made that the creed of his life and everlasting legacy.

Image result for george hw bush military

Bush in the Navy (BusinessInsider.com)

On December 7, 1941, Japanese aircraft attacked Pearl Harbor, a United States Naval Base in Hawaii. The United States would formally enter World War II the next day, December 8, 1941. George Herbert Walker Bush enlisted in the U.S. Navy and became a naval aviator, making him one of the youngest in the military at the time. In August of 1944, the USS San Jicinto, Bush’s naval squadron, engaged in operations to dismantle the Japanese in torpedo bombing operations. He was the pilot of one of four aircrafts that attacked the Japanese forces. Bush’s aircraft was later shot down, causing him to parachute out of the aircraft. Recalling his experience Bush wondered, “Why had I been spared, and what did God have for me?”

Image result for barbara bush and george bush

Bush with his wife Barbara. (today.com)

He would marry Barbara Pierce and was honorably discharged from the military. The couple would have six children: George W, Robin, Jeb, Neil, Marvin, and Doro. The couple would be married for 73 years.

Image result for george bush yale baseball

A young Bush with Babe Ruth. (Flicker.com)

 

 

In 1948, Bush graduated with a degree in economics from Yale College where he was an excelling student and an exceptional athlete. He played for the Yale baseball team, twice playing in the College World Series.

Upon his graduation, the Bush family moved to Texas where he would become a heavily successful businessman in the oil industry, which at the time, was prominent in Texas. In the early 60s, Bush became active in politics, as he was appointed the Republican Party Chairman for the Houston area. He lost a U.S. Senate race in 1964, but won a U.S. House seat in 1966, where he would on to serve in Congress for four years before another attempt at the U.S. Senate. Following is unsuccessful run for Senate, President Richard Nixon appointed him to be the United States ambassador to the UN. Bush was selected to serve as the RNC Chairman after Bob Dole.

Image result for bush cia director

Bush as CIA Director. (CIA)

Under President Gerald Ford, Bush served in two capacities, first as the Chief of the U.S. Liaison Office to China, and then as the director of the CIA.

In 1977, when Jimmy Carter won the presidency, President Bush left his position in Washington to return home to Texas where he would stay until his campaign announcement in 1979, when he threw his name in the race for the White House. We all know how that election ended with the Conservative California Governor, Ronald Reagan, winning and choosing the primary opponent, Bush, as his Vice President. The two would serve an eight year term with Bush playing a significant role in the Reagan Administration’s dealings with the Iran-Contra Affair and the implementation of “Reganomics.” Then Vice President Bush would later make his run to become President Bush in the 1988 election. With Dan Quayle as his running mate and the famous words “read my lips, no new taxes!” Bush would make his move into the Oval Office.

Image result for george hw bush

President Bush taking the Presidential Oath of Office. (twincities.com)

Though his presidency was only a single four-year term, he left a lasting shape while in office with the appointments of Justice David H. Souter  to the Supreme Court. President Bush faced many international affairs with military presence in Panama, the conclusion of the Cold War in Europe, the decline of Communism on the global stage, and an oil crisis and war in the Persian Gulf. Here on the home front, President Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act, which restricted companies from discriminating against the physical and social disabilities of applicants and employees in the workplace. He also worked with Congress to avoid taxes with a heavy budget deficit and recession.

President Bush sought a second term in the 1992 election, but with an economy in recession, he was defeated by Bill Clinton, who was the governor of Arkansas at the time. That would not be the end of President Bush, though.

Image result for clinton and bush

President Clinton and President Bush (The New York Post)

Apart from politics and following his presidency, President Bush continued to work for the peace and happiness of the American people and the furtherance of the United States and its everlasting experiment with freedom here and on the international platform. He and his wife, Barbara, continued advocating for they knew was just and true. In 2005, he joined President Bill Clinton in recovery efforts for the victims of the tsunami in the Indian Ocean and Hurricane Katrina in the Gulf of Mexico.

Image result for bush medal of freedom

President Obama awarding President Bush the Presidential Medal of Freedom. (UPI.com)

In the world of sports, President Bush was an avid fan of Houston sports teams while also serving as a special chair to the PGA Tour’s President Cup. He was also named into the World of Golf Hall of Fame.

It was the humble and earnest efforts of this distinguished servant and the remarkable story of his life that inspired President Obama to award him the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011, the nation’s highest civilian honor.

There has been a silence among the American people this week, and an even cooler crisp in the air. The looks across many people’s faces have been somewhat grim. All that diversifies our nation vanished, as our nation, in solemn grief, but also with resounding thanksgiving, remembered the life of a man of faith, a hero, a son, a husband, a father, a servant, an American Patriot.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email