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STATE CAPITOL HIGHLIGHTS: Texas, nation mourn death of former president

By Ed Sterling

AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott on Dec. 3 proclaimed Dec. 5 as an official day of mourning across the Lone Star State in honor of former President George H.W. Bush, the 41st president of the United States, who died in Houston on Nov. 30.

In the proclamation, Abbott encouraged Texans to “gather, assemble and pay their respects to the memory of George Herbert Walker Bush through ceremonies in homes, businesses, public buildings, schools, places of worship or other appropriate places for public expression of grief and remembrance.”

The proclamation also allowed state employees to attend such observances. State agencies, offices and departments were closed on that day, with general government operations and services maintained by reduced-size work crews.

The former president’s body lay in state in the U.S. Capitol rotunda. Crowds viewed the casket and a 21-gun salute was performed. Official funeral services were conducted at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., and the body was transported to Bush’s longtime home church, St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Houston, for funeral services. Crowds lined the railroad tracks as a funeral train carried the former president’s body to College Station and its final resting place at the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library on the Texas A&M University campus.