James Baker: George H.W. Bush embodied the ‘Greatest Generation’

Former Secretary of State James Baker on Thursday remembered George H.W. Bush as a man of “great faith” and “great integrity” during a funeral in Texas.

“For more than 60 years, George Herbert Walker Bush has been my friend and my role model,” Baker eulogized the 41st president at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Houston.

Calling Bush a “charter member of the Greatest Generation,” Baker said Bush was the “nation’s best one-term president.”

“His incredible service to our nation and the world are already etched in the marble of time,” Baker said of his former boss and longtime friend. “For millions and millions across the globe, the world became a better place because George Bush occupied the White House.”

Bush “possessed the classic virtues” of the Founding Fathers, Baker said, noting how he handled the collapse of the Soviet Union and the dismantling of the Berlin Wall.

“He was not considered a skilled speaker, but his deeds were quite eloquent — and he demonstrated their eloquence by carving them into the hard granite of history,” Baker said of Bush.

He said Bush’s values were the nation’s values.

“My hope is that in remembering George Herbert Walker Bush and in honoring his accomplishments, we will see that we are really praising what is best about our nation. The nation he dearly loved and whose values he embodied,” Baker said.

Following the funeral at St. Martin’s, Bush’s casket will be taken by train to his presidential library at Texas A&M University in College Station.

After a private ceremony later Thursday, he will be laid to rest next to his wife, former first lady Barbara Bush, who died in April, and their 3-year-old daughter, Robin, who died in 1953 of leukemia.

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