College Station Prepares To Lay First Lady Barbara Bush To Rest

posted by LEE FRANCE -

Texas A&M University officials have announced that the funeral motorcade for former First Lady Barbara Bush on Saturday, April 21, will enter College Station from northbound Highway 6 and proceed north on to Texas Avenue.

It is anticipated that citizens wishing to pay tribute to Mrs. Bush will be along the route as well, and these factors have the potential to impact travel in and around the motorcade route before the motorcade proceeds through College Station. If citizens are interested in parking in parking lots and standing on sidewalks as the motorcade proceeds along the route, it is requested that they be in place by 2 p.m. The George Bush Library complex will not be open to the public.

  • All major intersections along the route will be closed as the motorcade proceeds through College Station. The intersections that will be closed will begin at Highway 6 at Rock Prairie Road to Texas Avenue at George Bush Drive. Once the motorcade begins traveling on George Bush Drive, all major intersections will be blocked until the motorcade reaches Barbara Bush Drive.
  • Highway 6 Southbound at the Rock Prairie Road exit and split will be shut down as well.
  • After the motorcade proceeds through College Station, the route will re-open for normal traffic.
  • Parts of the roadway could be affected for up to two hours.
  • A map of the motorcade route and where citizens may stand to view the motorcade is available at this link: http://tx.ag/BushViewing

The College Station Police Department is asking the public to plan accordingly for possible delays and to avoid travelling in impacted areas.

The interment for former First Lady Barbara Bush, wife of former President George H.W. Bush, will be Saturday afternoon, April 21 at the George H.W. Bush Library and Museum on the grounds of Texas A&M University.

Mrs. Bush passed away today (April 17) at the age of 92.

Mrs. Bush will be buried on the library and museum grounds beside her daughter, Robin, who passed away at the age of three after battling leukemia.

Details on the public viewing of Mrs. Bush’s motorcade are forthcoming; the burial will be a private family event.

“Today, the Aggie nation is mourning a family member,” said John Sharp, Chancellor of The Texas A&M University System. “In a very real sense Barbara Bush was a mother figure to all Aggies because of her towering example of selfless service to family and nation. She endeared herself to us forever.”

Texas A&M President Michael K. Young echoed Chancellor Sharp’s sentiment.

“We offer our prayers and condolences to the Bush family tonight. First Lady Barbara Bush was an exemplary public servant,” said Young. “It remains an honor that Texas A&M University was chosen to house the President’s Library, as well as the Bush School of Government and Public Service, and the Bush Foundation. We will always strive to live up to her legacy of service.”

Both as First Lady and in subsequent years, Mrs. Bush advocated for improvement on numerous fronts including literacy, homelessness, AIDS care and treatment and elder care.

Warren Finch, director of the Bush Library and Museum, said Mrs. Bush will be sorely missed.

“Hers was a life well-lived — she was a wonderful woman and her legacy will outlive us,” he said. Finch said she was an integral part of the library for more than 25 years — from the planning period through it opening 21 years ago and even until late last year when she contributed digital photographs and memorabilia.

“She started keeping scrapbooks soon after she was engaged in 1943 and she kept up with these detailed tributes, so over the years she amassed more than 100 scrapbooks. She generously donated these to the Bush Library and Museum.”

The museum was renovated a decade ago to incorporate many of those treasured items, Finch said. “So much of what’s in the museum came from her — these exhibits would not have been as rich if it weren’t for her. She will live on here forever.”

Bush Foundation officials worked closely with President and Mrs. Bush for 25 years to raise funds for the museum and conference center. The team accomplished an unprecedented feat by meeting its $82 million goal months early. The $40 million Bush School was funded primarily through state dollars and by Texas A&M revenue bonds.

“Barbara Bush was not a boastful person. She was extremely proud of her husband and her family, and she adored her husband’s Presidential Library and Museum,” George H. W. Bush Library Foundation CEO David Jones said. “She loved coming to the Library many, many times over the years. She always was welcomed so warmly by the Texas A&M community and her presence is going to be missed for a very long time.”

In lieu of flowers, the Bush family requests donations be made to the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy, which opened in 1989 and works to boost literacy among parents and their children.

The Bush Library has hosted viewings of the “Reading Discovery Learning Program” since 2008 in which Mrs. Bush would read to tens of thousands of school children across the globe via livestreaming.

Her interest in caring for the needs of parents and children can be seen in bricks and mortar on George Bush Drive, across from the Texas A&M campus, at the Barbara Bush Parent Center, established in 1997. The center was formed to meet the needs of parents in the College Station Independent School District and includes an Early Head Start Program.

Charles Hermann, senior professor and founding director at Texas A&M’s Bush School of Government & Public Service, named for George H.W. Bush, has interacted frequently with the Bushes over the years.

He described Mrs. Bush as clever and witty, and devoted to many causes, perhaps most notably promoting reading.

“She and my wife, Lorraine, often talked about the books they were reading and more than once exchanged books,” Hermann said. “Barbara Bush remained determined to do everything she could to inspire our nation to read and she devoted time and energy to her reading foundation. It is a major part of her own, personal legacy.  It’s also part of my own memory of this marvelous woman: walking with her around the Bush Library pond with her dogs, she asked, ‘What are you reading?’”

President and Mrs. Bush were married for 73 years and had a storied relationship, captured in the early years in “My Darling Bar,” a letter archived by the Bush Library and Museum.

For more information, please go to barbarapbush.com.

CREDIT TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY FOR THE STORY & THE CITY OF COLLEGE STATION FOR THE PLANS

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