After the physique of former President George H.W. Bush arrived again from Washington on Wednesday, Texans lined up by the hundreds outdoors a Houston church, desperate to pay their remaining 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 companies for former first woman Barbara Bush had been held after she died in April.

Through 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 individuals had handed by the Secret Service safety checkpoint for the repose, with wait instances below an hour.

Earlier Wednesday, the primary individuals in line arrived within the morning, nearly 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 pal of hers lower his hair and that they grew to become pals. She mentioned the second time they met, he advised 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 advised Fox 26 Houston.

“He was essentially the most great father and husband and he simply liked his household,” she mentioned. “He was completely essentially 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 College, advised the Houston Chronicle that she started educating in the course of the elder Bush’s presidency and has saved tabs on the Bush household ever since.

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

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Texan Maria Lourdres Torres advised the Chronicle that she rushed house 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 School 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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