Americans pay respects to late President Bush at US Capitol

George H.W. Bush and Michael Dukakis shook hands before a September 1988 debate in Winston-Salem N.C

A grandson of George H.W. Bush said Tuesday that the late 41st president wanted his state funeral to be an opportunity for the nation to put aside political differences.

Bush's funeral on Wednesday at the Washington National Cathedral, which President Donald Trump is expected to attend, will reportedly contrast with Republican Sen.

Escorted by former Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge, Sully watched as mourners paid their respects to the late president, whose casket was covered with an American flag, alongside a red, white and blue flower wreath.

"I think if there is anybody that is supposed to have bipartisanship and rising above politics of today, that would be my grandfather", Bush, the son of 2016 presidential candidate and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, told CNN's "New Day." He arrived in the Capitol rotunda in a wheelchair pushed by an aide. USA traders also observed a moment of silence before markets opened on Monday in honor of Bush.

The German government press service announced on Monday that Chancellor Angela Merkel will fly to Washington D.C., to take part in the memorial service for the late President, who oversaw the end of the Cold War and the reunification of Germany.

The United States flag is lowered to half mast aboard USS George H.W. Bush on December 1, 2018.

Bush died Friday night at his Houston home at the age of 94.

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Jim McGrath, Bush's spokesman, tweeted on Monday that the 41st President "will be carried to his final rest wearing socks that pay tribute to his lifetime of service, starting as an 18 year-old naval aviator in war".

"Here lies a great man", said House speaker Paul Ryan.

Fred Curry, one of the few African-Americans in line, is a registered Democrat from Hyattsville, Maryland, who voted for Bush in 1988, the election won by the one-term president.

The Trumps made a brief visit to the Capitol rotunda, where Bush's flag-draped coffin was resting as part of tributes to honor the 41st U.S. president and remember his extraordinary life. Many have also heralded Bush's 73-year marriage to his wife, Barbara Bush, who died months before her husband in April 2018.

A humble hero of World War II, Bush was just 20 when he survived being shot down during a bombing run over a Japanese island.

Soon after he reached the height of his political popularity following the liberation of Kuwait, with public approval ratings that are the envy of today's politicians, the US economy began to sour and voters began to believe that Bush, never a great communicator - something even he acknowledged - was out of touch with ordinary people. Trump did not shake hands with Bill and Hillary Clinton, who looked straight ahead.

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