After the physique of former President George H.W. Bush arrived again from Washington on Wednesday, Texans lined up by the hundreds exterior a Houston church, desperate to pay their closing respects.

The casket of the nation’s 41st president, who died final week at age 94, was on view at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church, the place his household worshipped and the place providers for former first woman Barbara Bush have been held after she died in April.

In the course of the evening, the road into the church moved slowly — halting at any time when mourners stopped in entrance of the casket to cross themselves or in any other case acknowledge Bush.

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Jim McGrath, the Bush household spokesman, mentioned about 5,000 folks had handed by means of the Secret Service safety checkpoint for the repose, with wait instances underneath an hour.

Earlier Wednesday, the primary folks in line arrived within the morning, virtually 10 hours earlier than the church was scheduled to open to guests.

Pennie Werth-Bobian, 56, of Tomball, was on the entrance of the road. She mentioned that she used to go to with Bush whereas a good friend of hers reduce his hair and that they turned mates. She mentioned the second time they met, he instructed her to name him George.

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GEORGE H.W. BUSH’S CASKET ARRIVES IN HOUSTON EN ROUTE TO FINAL RESTING PLACE

Jennifer Dawson labored for the 41st president when his son George W. Bush was president, she instructed Fox 26 Houston.

“He was probably the most fantastic father and husband and he simply cherished his household,” she mentioned. “He was completely probably the most down-to-earth, real-life particular person I’ve ever met in my life.”

Jan Robertson, a U.S. historical past trainer at George Bush Excessive Faculty, instructed the Houston Chronicle that she started instructing throughout the elder Bush’s presidency and has saved tabs on the Bush household ever since.

“They’re the kind of folks I want extra folks have been like,” Robertson mentioned. “They talked about giving again to society and repair.”

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Texan Maria Lourdres Torres instructed the Chronicle that she rushed dwelling from work to say goodbye to the president. She mentioned she spent hours ready for her likelihood to pay respects.

A funeral service will probably be held on the church Thursday morning, the place about 1,200 mourners are anticipated to attend.

A particular prepare will then take the casket to the campus of Texas A&M College in Faculty Station, the place Bush will probably be buried at his presidential library subsequent to his spouse, Barbara, and their younger daughter Robin, who died in 1953.

The Related Press contributed to this report.

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