A nation's farewell for George H.W. Bush

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WASHINGTON (AP) - Former President George W. Bush says he told his father just before he died that he had been a "wonderful dad" and that he loved him. Delivering a eulogy at the elder Bush's funeral on Wednesday, George W. Bush said his father's "last words on earth were 'I love you, too.'"

George W. Bush extolled his father not only for his service as president but also as a role model as a loving husband, father, and grandfather.

Bush choked up at the end of his eulogy before regaining his composure. He patted his father's flag-draped coffin twice as he went back to his seat at the Washington National Cathedral. Former first lady Laura Bush wiped her eyes with a tissue as her husband sat next to her.

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Wednesday is a national day of mourning to honor the late former President George H.W. Bush.

Washington is bidding its final farewell during his funeral at Washington National Cathedral drawing world envoys, the four remaining ex-presidents, and President Donald Trump.

President Trump issued an executive order to close the federal government. Most federal employees will have the day off.

Some national parks may be closed or have limited services and the U.S. Postal Service will only make limited package deliveries.

The New York Stock Exchange will suspend normal trading and the Nasdaq will close for the day.

The U.S. Supreme Court is also delaying arguments Wednesday.

The governor's of both Maine and Texas have also issued orders to close state departments in those states.

The ceremony late Wednesday morning will cap three days of remembrance by dignitaries and ordinary citizens alike. The Republican president oversaw the post-Cold War transition and led a successful Gulf War, then lost re-election in a generational shift to Democrat Bill Clinton.

Joining American notables and representatives from more than a dozen countries is an electrician and fix-it man, Mike Lovejoy, who has worked at Bush's Maine summer estate since 1990.

Bush's remains will be returned to Houston to lie in repose before burial Thursday at his family plot on the presidential library grounds at Texas A&M University in College Station.

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