Bush was 'last great soldier-statesman'

Former US president George HW Bush has been remembered as America's last great soldier-statesman at a funeral packed with US and foreign dignitaries.
An unusual bipartisan spirit is on display at the service at the Washington National Cathedral, with both Republican and Democratic politicians gathering to honour the life of a World War II hero, Cold War veteran and former head of the CIA.
"George HW Bush was America's last great soldier-statesman," presidential biographer Jon Meacham said in a eulogy at Wednesday's ceremony.
"He stood in the breach in the Cold War against totalitarianism. He stood in the breach in Washington against unthinking partisanship," Meacham said.
Former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney praised Bush as a strong world leader who helped oversee the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Mulroney said Bush was also responsible for the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico, which created "the largest and richest free trade area in the history of the world".The deal was recently updated by the Trump administration.
The 41st president also deserved credit for the Americans with Disabilities Act and revising the Clean Air Act, Mulroney said.
"There's a word for this. It's called leadership," he told the service.
Political feuds were briefly set aside in honour of Bush, who died last week in Texas aged 94.
Bush was a naval aviator who was shot down over the Pacific Ocean in World War II, and a commander in chief who defeated Iraqi forces in the 1991 Gulf War.
US President Donald Trump shook hands with his predecessor Barack Obama, who he has often sharply criticised, as he took his seat at the cathedral.
Democratic former US secretary of state Hillary Clinton, Trump's 2016 election opponent, and her husband Bill Clinton shared the front pew with Obama, Trump and their spouses.
Trump, a Republican like Bush, infuriated the late president when he attacked his sons, former president George W Bush and Jeb Bush, one of Trump's rivals in the 2016 Republican primary campaign.
The Trumps spent about 20 minutes visiting with the Bush family on Tuesday.
"Looking forward to being with the Bush family. This is not a funeral, this is a day of celebration for a great man who has led a long and distinguished life. He will be missed!" Trump tweeted on Wednesday.
All surviving former US presidents were at the cathedral along with their wives.
George W Bush was also to deliver a eulogy, along with retired Wyoming Republican Senator Alan Simpson.
The guest list included Britain's Prince Charles, Australian Governor-General Peter Cosgrove and leaders of Germany, Jordan and Poland, along with a host of former world leaders, such as former British prime minister John Major, who was in office during Bush's term.
Hundreds of people lined Pennsylvania Avenue in downtown Washington to watch a hearse drive Bush's coffin from Capitol Hill, where he had lain in state since Monday night, toward the cathedral on Wednesday morning.

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