The President and First Lady Pay Respects to Bush in the Capitol

President Trump, with First Lady Melania Trump, salutes the casket of former President George H.W. Bush in the Rotunda of the US Capitol in Washington, DC, December 3, 2018. (Shawn Thew/Reuters )

President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump made an unannounced visit to the Capitol Rotunda Monday evening to pay their respects to President George H.W. Bush, who is lying in state there after passing away on Friday.

In a two-minute visit, the first couple stood in silence with bowed heads, before Trump saluted and the first lady put her hand over her heart as they stood in front of the 41st president’s casket. Senator John Barrasso accompanied the Trumps into the rotunda, where the public will be able to pay their respects to the late president until his funeral on Wednesday.

A bipartisan group of lawmakers held a memorial service in the Capitol for Bush after his coffin arrived Monday afternoon. Bush’s son, President George W. Bush, attended that ceremony.

“Through the Cold War and the Soviet Union’s collapse, he kept us on course. When the rule of law needed defending in the Persian Gulf, he kept us on course,” said Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell.

“Here lies a great man,” said House speaker Paul Ryan. “No one better harmonized the joy of life and the duty of life.”

The Trumps plan to attend Bush’s funeral at the National Cathedral per the 41st president’s wishes, despite the previous disagreements between the two families.

Bush, who was 94, will eventually be buried in Texas next to his wife of 73 years, Barbara, who died in April.

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