George H. W. Bush

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Like the rest of America, I watched the funeral services for our forty-first president and found them to be reflective of the man: elegant, restrained, intelligent, classy, and tremendously dignified. The eulogies and anecdotes covered a wide swathe of achievements, from school to military service to public service, touching most of all on his devotion and loyalty to his family and legions of friends, accounts sometimes profoundly moving, frequently very funny. It was a good life, with all ninety-four years of it well-lived.

H.W. was the last president we shall ever see who came out of what Tom Brokaw so accurately labeled the Greatest Generation. He was the last true warrior president, and though I dislike that phrase, I both understand and appreciate the qualities active military duty imbues in those who have seen combat.

But amid the tears and laughter, it was this brief quote I ran across in the Wall Street Journal that reduced me to a pulp:

“Bush is a revered figure in the Navy, especially among aviators, who marvel that he enlisted on his 18th birthday and flew 58 dangerous missions. His name graces one of America’s newest aircraft carriers, commissioned in 2009. The Navy saluted its departed comrade Saturday with this message: Fair winds and following seas, Sir. We have the watch.

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6 thoughts on “George H. W. Bush”

  1. Hello Mr. Parker,

    I would like to mention two important achievements of President Bush’s time in office that nobody else seems to be bringing up.

    First off, while the Soviet Union was collapsing in 1989, he promised Soviet Premier Gorbachev that American soldiers would not be stationed closer to Russia than they were at the time. Because of this promise, Gorbachev pulled Soviet troops out of East Germany instead of starting a war, which could very well have turned nuclear and wiped out civilization as we know it.

    The second achievement was to win the Persian Gulf War against Iraq in seven months by having a clear military goal and working with 35 countries, including seemingly unlikely countries like Syria and Iran. Because of this, there were only 3000 civilian casualties, and most Muslim countries were very much on America’s side.

    By contrast, since 1992 there are now regular NATO exercises right on Russia’s western border, helping Putin stay in power with Russians fearing a fourth invasion from the west in the past century – lets not forget they still have enough nuclear weapons to wipe out most life on this planet.

    President Bush’s son started a “War on Terror” in 2001 that is still going on after 17 years, long after Osama bin Laden was killed, and somehow previous allies like Syria and Iran are now enemies, even though they have not attacked America nor anyone else.

    President Trump would be very wise to back up nice words at the funeral by following President Bush’s policies – back away from unnecessary confrontation with Russia and end the already-won War on Terror. The current policies do nothing but provide an excuse to take away the liberty of Americans for a little bit of security – according to Ben Franklin, do Americans deserve either now?

    Gerald from Canada

  2. JP,

    I love so very much the glimpses into your heart. Your heart fiercely feels and you are not afraid to share the depths of feeling. Thank you for your realness, for sharing your true heart with us. You bless us!

    Our nation lost a great man, quite possibly one of the last of our greatest Presidents.

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