The nation returns thanks to the Bush family

However, those watching from all over the world felt as if they knew him, too. For a spell, time seemed to stand still so we could all be together — to laugh, to cry, to remember. Partisanship took a break. He was bringing people together, even in his final act.

The Bushes have their family for sure; but they are also part of our family. For the past 100 years, there has been a Bush serving this country. President George H.W. Bush’s father, Prescott Bush, served in the U.S. Army from 1917-1919 before later serving in the U.S. Senate from 1952-62. 

Most adults today would not know of a time when there wasn’t someone named Bush in the public eye. They have been there for us. The latest generation of that family still is, and they are not assuming roles out of a sense of entitlement, but rather duty, motivated by service. 

This week, as a nation, we were there for them. Whether in one of the grand cathedrals where services were held, paying respects in the Capitol rotunda, lining the streets to salute a passing motorcade, waving at a passing train, or watching the almost nonstop TV coverage from afar, our presence was embracing their kin. As we did so, we were collectively thanking them for their commitment to this wonderful country.

Kenneth Hersh is chief executive of the George W. Bush Presidential Center. He wrote this column for The Dallas Morning News.

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