When the current POTUS was inaugurated we posted a piece about President Bush. We run it again, with these added thoughts:
President Bush goes down in history as the last American to become president who fought in WWII. Having graduated high school after the attack on Pearl Harbor, he postponed college after being accepted to Yale and enlisted in the Navy.
GHWB was a self-made business man- an oil wildcatter in Texas. He was a congressman who twice lost his bid for the senate. He served his country as first envoy to China, and then Ambassador to China, as well as head of the CIA. His life was based around the principle of service to country and devotion to family. It is not often that one can say they met and worked with a true legend; a real American hero who risked his life for his country; a man of the highest order of goodness and graciousness. We did, and we cherish our memories of this great man.
Some additional thoughts: It was during his administration that saw the passing of the American With Disabilities Act and the Clean Water Act. And the man met the moment when President Bush oversaw the fall of the Soviet Union by privately promising Mikhail Gorbachev that he would remain silent and not humiliate the Russians or the Russian leader as the Soviet Union collapsed. It was a telling moment for a man raised by a mother with the strict prohibition against self-aggrandizement. Bush instinctively knew that the right play was to remain silent and do nothing and let the tide of history carry away a failed communist government.
Perhaps no other leader since Roosevelt was able to manage foreign policy and other nations and put together the type of collation that allowed the United States to defeat one of the largest armies and air forces in the world with so few causalities and a four day ground war. And having achieved the goal of evicting Iraq from Kuwait, Bush knew when to declare victory. He was a great leader in foreign affairs, perhaps our best and most prepared president.
FIRST PUBLISHED ON JANUARY 17, 2017:
George Herbert Walker Bush was the 41st President of the United States. He is currently in the hospital. He is the greatest man we have ever known. We worked with Mr. Bush in DC when he was Ronald Wilson Reagan's vice president. Of course we cannot explain the exact details here. But here are a few stories.
He was and is an inveterate letter writer. He has corresponded on a regular basis with hundreds of regular Americans he met throughout his life. He is a war hero, the youngest bomber pilot in the Pacific in WWII at the time he flew his plane and recipient of the Navy Cross for Valor.
In the 1950's Bush and his wife lost their daughter Robin to leukemia. There is a letter from GHWB to his mother about his daughter which we highly recommend as a poignant example of his humanity. Here is part of what he wrote:
We need a legitimate Christmas angel, one who doesn't have cuffs beneath her dress. You have to be a father to know this,” he wrote. “We need a little one who can kiss without leaving egg or jam or gum. We need a girl. We had one once..... But she is still with us. We need her and yet we have her.”
In 2013, Bush shaved his head in solidarity with 2 year old Patrick, the son of one of the agents on his secret service detail who was being treated for leukemia and had lost all his hair. He is that type of man.
Many years after the death of Robin, as VP while running for president, Bush was in Poland and found himself visiting a children's hospital. There was a young child who was ill with Leukemia. Bush didn't know that at the time he picked up (the boy as we remember it) and the boy gave him a hug. Bush asked what was the matter and through interpreters he learned the child had leukemia. The incident was being recorded by reporters. Bush kept a smile and played with the boy for a moment, and then put him down and excused himself. He walked off to a small area where he couldn't be seen and he broke down. One reporter witnessed it and later asked him about it. Bush explained about his daughter. The reporter asked him why he walked away? That showing some emotion in front of the press during a presidential election would have been a great thing for the campaign. Bush gave the reporter a sad smile, shook his head and walked away. His emotions were real. Not everything he did was designed to sell himself to the public and to win an election.
George Herbert Walker Bush is a great American. He is a real man, with real principles. And unlike the way politics is today with the win at all costs campaigns, there were just some things that were more important to George Bush than winning the presidency.