Former President George Herbert Walker Bush’s death on Dec. 1, 2018 pulled the nation into collective mourning. Not only was he a former vice president and the 41st President of the United States from 1989 to 1993, but he was a political icon known for his efforts in protecting American exceptionalism.
Many tributes took place nationwide after Bush Sr.’s death. One little known tribute took place days later under heavily falling snow at Fort Drum.
The 3-6 Field Artillery Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team of the 10th Mountain Division carried out a 21-gun salute to honor the late former president. It took place at noon – as is customary on the day of the commander-in-chief’s burial.
One shot fired each minute until all rounds were depleted.
The tribute held a deeper meaning because of the ties between former President Bush and the 10th Mountain Division.
“The late President Bush served in World War II, then of course, our division’s history – the 10 Mountain Division’s history fighting in Riveredge and taking Mount Belvedere in these conditions during World War II so it’s a pretty historic event that we get to do this ceremony in the conditions like our division fought with President Bush in World War II,” Command Sergeant Major Russell Blackwell told WWNY News, referring to the heavy snow that came down during the salute.
Watch the video of the salute below – you may need to turn the video sound once the video starts playing by clicking the speaker icon within the video:
Bush Sr. joined the Navy on his 18th birthday in 1942. A year later, he earned his wings and became the youngest naval aviator at the time. He went on to fly torpedo bombers in the Pacific, and was later awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross after his plane was shot down during a bombing mission on Japan in 1944.
Bush Sr. is the father of two prominent politicians; former President George W. Bush and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush.
“He was the commander-in-chief so I think that’s just part of our history, part of tradition. We have to honor those presidents once they pass away so it’s a huge honor for our guys to do it,” said 1st Sgt Joseph Rapp, Bravo Battery, 3-6 Field Artillery Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team.
Bush Sr. passed away in his Houston home at the age of 94. He battled vascular parkinsonism and was repeatedly hospitalized for pneumonia and other respiratory conditions in the several years preceding his death.
The former President was buried at the George Bush H.W. Presidential Library Center at Texas A&M University alongside his wife Barbara, who died in April 2018, and their daughter Robin, who died in 1953.