See moving photos from George H.W. Bush’s state funeral, where every living president, foreign leaders, and celebrities paid their respects

Visitors started filing into Washington National Cathedral more than two hours before the ceremony started Wednesday morning.

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Visitors started filing into Washington National Cathedral more than two hours before the ceremony started Wednesday morning.
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Andrew Harnik/Getty

  • A memorial service was held for President George H.W. Bush at Washington National Cathedral Wednesday morning.
  • The event was attended by all living presidents and their wives as well as politicians from both sides of the aisle and foreign dignitaries.

Politicians from both sides of the aisle, foreign dignitaries, and all living US presidents descended on Washington National Cathedral on Wednesday for the funeral of President George H.W. Bush.

The 41st president died Friday at the age of 94. The Wednesday service is the first presidential state funeral since Gerald Ford died in 2006.

With so many important people expected to attend the event, including President Donald Trump, attendees had to get to the church early for security reasons, which left plenty of time for mingling and awkward run-ins, which were caught on camera.

There were also touching moments as the Bush family mourned together the loss of their patriarch with speeches and salutes.

Continue for more moving photos from the service.


Because attendees had to get to the church early, there was plenty of time for socializing.

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Joe and Jill Biden were seen speaking with Jared and Ivanka Trump before taking their seats.


There were a good number of across-the-aisle conversations as well, such as this one between former CIA Director John Brennan, left, and the White House chief of staff, John Kelly.

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Brennan has been an outspoken critic of the Trump administration.


Vice President Mike Pence was seen rubbing elbows with the Obamas.

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Obama also took a moment to greet former Vice President Dick Cheney.

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The former first ladies Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton seemed happy to see each other.

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Prince Charles attended the service on behalf of his mother, Britain’s Queen Elizabeth.

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Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

Jimmy Carter, who beat cancer just a few years ago, looked glad to see Barack Obama.

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After 10 a.m., Bush’s casket was moved from the Capitol, where it had been lying in state since Monday.

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Win McNamee/Reuters

Bush served nearly 15 years in Congress as a representative for the state of Texas.


Former NFL quarterback Peyton Manning was one of the more surprising attendees to the service on Wednesday.


Just before the ceremony started, President Donald Trump and first lady Melania took their seats.

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They were greeted by the Obamas, who were seated between the Trumps and the Clintons.

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The first pew of the church was filled with all the living presidents and their wives.

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From left: Donald Trump, Melania Trump, Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Jimmy Carter, and Rosalynn Carter.
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Former President George W. Bush and former first lady Laura Bush stood outside the cathedral to salute the president’s casket as it arrived.

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The two George Bushes were the second father and son to both serve as president (after John Adams and John Quincy Adams).


The rest of Bush’s surviving children stood with their partners outside the cathedral.

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From left to right: Columba Bush, Jeb Bush, Dorothy Bush, Robert P. Koch, Maria Bush, Neil Bush, Laura Bush, George W. Bush, unknown serviceman, Margaret Bush, Marvin Bush.
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Mike Theiler/Reuters

The public lined up along the route between the Capitol and the cathedral to see Bush’s hearse pass by.

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Congressional leadership and their partners also stood in a line outside the cathedral to wait for the arrival of Bush’s remains.

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From left: Janna Ryan, House Speaker Paul Ryan, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Iris Weinshall, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and Paul Pelosi.
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Drew Angerer/Getty

Bush’s funeral was the first presidential state funeral since Gerald Ford’s in 2006.

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Hundreds or mourners stood as Bush’s casket arrived at the cathedral for the ceremony.

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As the casket passed, everyone put a hand to their heart as a sign of respect.

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George W. Bush and his wife led a group of family mourners into the cathedral.


One of Bush’s grandchildren, Jenna Bush Hager, touched his casket after doing a reading at the funeral.

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Former President George W. Bush gave the main eulogy for his father. At one point he had to pause because he got emotional.


Tears welled in the younger Bush’s eyes as he touched his father’s casket after giving the eulogy.