‘Do You Think Anyone Will Come?’: George H.W. Bush Once Asked if Anyone Would Attend His Memorial Services

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Amid the long lines of people waiting in the Capitol Rotunda to pay their respects to former President George H.W. Bush and the outpouring of admiration for his life, it’s hard to imagine that anyone could have doubted that his memorial services wouldn’t be well-attended.

But one person did: Bush himself, his former spokesman said Tuesday night.

“Briefed in 2011 about his funeral and lying in state, the 41st President asked with typical humility, ‘Do you think anyone will come?’ Tonight, people are waiting hours to pay their respects. This photo, taken Monday, is courtesy the Senate Press Photographers’ Gallery pool,” tweeted Bush spokesman Jim McGrath, who included a picture of the crowd surrounding Bush’s casket as he lay in state at the Capitol Rotunda.

Bush’s concern, aside from displaying the humility for which he was known, was a bit unfounded: his funeral is expected to be attended by 3,000 people, a spokesman for the Washington National Cathedral said Wednesday. The service will be attended by multiple former presidents and first ladies, children of past presidents and world leaders.

President Donald Trump has also announced that Wednesday is a national day of mourning.


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