America mourns the loss of an American political icon, patriot and patriarch.
Former President George H.W. Bush died at the age of 94 on Friday night. He served as the 41st U.S. president from 1989 to 1993.
Bill Schuette first met George H.W. Bush when "41" was the CIA Director -- they kept in touch.
When Schuette graduated college, he found himself not only working for the soon-to-be president, he was helping drive him across the country.
No surprise the pair struck up a lifelong friendship.
"America has lost a powerful, kind wonderful leader...that's for sure," said Schuette. "There was not a mean-spirited bone in this body."
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Other Michigan politicians issued these statements Saturday, reacting to Bush's passing:
Democratic U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow:
“We mourn the loss of former President George H.W. Bush and honor his lifetime of service to our country – as a Navy pilot in World War II, a diplomat, and a statesman who brought principled leadership to the world. Our hearts are with the entire Bush family during this difficult time.”
Michigan Republicans Chairman Ronald Weiser:
“Michigan lost an outstanding statesman today. President Bush was a beacon of light and freedom, the last of the Greatest Generation to serve. A grateful nation mourns with his family and celebrates his life today.”
Democratic Congressman of 5th Congressional District Dan Kildee:
“I join all Americans in mourning President Bush’s death. President Bush graciously served his country for more than 70 years, not only in the Armed Forces as a Naval aviator during World War II, but also a decades-long career in public service, including as the 41st President of the United States. As the Commander in Chief, Vice President of the United States, U.S. Envoy to China, Director of the Central Intelligence, Ambassador to the United Nations and a Member of Congress, President Bush was a steady and humble leader during challenging times. His legacy and service will be remembered for the better world he left us all. For President Bush, elected office was always about service to others and the greater good.
“I first met President Bush in 1992, right after the presidential debate in Michigan against Bill Clinton and Ross Perot. President Bush was as kind and generous then as he was later in life. As we celebrate his life’s accomplishments and mourn his passing, I know that President Bush and his wife of 73 years, the late Barbara Bush, are once again together now.
“Jennifer and I extend our condolences to the entire Bush family for their loss.”
He was a great person who served his nation not only in the military and as President, but as a role model for all of us. His commitments to family and country before, during, and after his presidency were inspiring. https://t.co/C3ZeNvPgHP
— Governor Rick Snyder (@onetoughnerd) December 1, 2018
An honorable man and a dear friend. Rest well, 41. pic.twitter.com/WTnoZxfIH7
— John Dingell (@JohnDingell) December 1, 2018
Gov. Snyder has ordered all flags to be lowered at half-staff for the next 30 days to honor Bush.
President Donald Trump designated Wednesday, December 5 a national day of mourning after the passing of former President George H.W. Bush, according to a statement from the White House.
It was also announced Saturday that the former president will lie in state next week at the U.S. Capitol Monday through Wednesday. The arrival ceremony will be held Monday at 5 p.m. EST.
The public can pay their respects beginning Monday at 7:30 p.m. EST until Wednesday at 7 a.m. EST.