After lying in state for the public to observe and mourn, George H.W. Bush’s casket will leave the Capitol on Wednesday for his state funeral service in Washington.
The service will cap a three-day stay of the former president’s body in Washington that includes his lying in state and a national day of mourning. The service, which was coordinated by the Bush family and the Department of Defense’s Joint Task Force-National Capital Region, is the first presidential funeral since 2007, following the death of Gerald Ford, and comes only three months after the funeral of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).
Here’s what to know about the Wednesday events:
When and where
The funeral will take place at Washington National Cathedral at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, according to the official schedule. Bush’s casket will leave the cathedral at 12:30 p.m. for Joint Base Andrews and eventually make its way back to Texas for additional services and burial at Bush’s presidential library in College Station.
The funeral route from the Capitol to the cathedral will follow Constitution and Pennsylvania avenues, turn up 22nd Street and continue up Massachusetts Avenue, according to D.C. police. Those roads will be closed from 9:15 until 11:00 a.m. The route from the cathedral to Joint Base Andrews will be closed from 11:00 a.m. until about 1:30 p.m.
How to watch
The service will be broadcast live on C-Span and most major news networks.
Who will be there
Every living former president and President Donald Trump will attend. Though Trump has openly ridiculed the senior Bush and other members of his family in the past, the White House has remained largely deferential and uncharacteristically reverent following Bush’s death.
Other notable guests include Prince Charles, House Speaker Paul Ryan and former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, who will speak during the service.
What to look out for
Funerals of major political leaders can spawn moments of camaraderie across the aisle. During McCain’s funeral in September, former President George W. Bush and Michelle Obama shared a chummy moment when he handed the former first lady a cough drop from the White House.
The senior Bush’s funeral will probably be less political than McCain’s, where Trump’s conspicuous absence fed into the two men’s bitter feud. Trump has frequently ridiculed the Bush family and didn’t attend Barbara Bush’s funeral earlier this year, but George H.W. Bush made it clear he wanted the current president at his funeral out of respect for the office.
Though presidents usually perform eulogies for their predecessors, Trump will not read one for Bush, CNN reported. George W. Bush will speak instead.