The Defense Department paid tribute today to former first lady Barbara Bush, who died April 17. She was 92.
“Mrs. Bush had many roles with great significance to many people,” chief Pentagon spokesperson Dana W. White said in a news conference today.
“To the military, she was a Navy wife, a ship sponsor and a devoted advocate of the men and women in uniform, whom she treated like family,” White said.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the Bush family as they celebrate the life and memory of Mrs. Bush,” she added.
Honoring Bush Aboard Aircraft Carriers
Sailors on the Bush-sponsored aircraft carrier USS George Washington and the carrier USS George H.W. Bush named after her husband, a former president and naval aviator, have a special connection to Bush.
“It was our privilege to have Mrs. Barbara Bush as the ship’s sponsor for the nation’s finest aircraft carrier,” Navy Capt. Glenn Jamison, commanding officer of USS George Washington, said in a Navy news release. Bush’s legacy will be long remembered by those who have served and will serve aboard USS George Washington, he said.
The commanding officer of the USS George H.W. Bush described Bush as a “truly remarkable person” and said the crew endeavors to proudly carry her legacy and enduring example of devotion to family.
“A strong and compassionate first lady, a devoted matriarch and champion of literacy, she graced our deckplates on multiple occasions and treated all who served aboard USS George H. W. Bush like her own family,” Navy Capt. Sean Bailey said.
He added, “She will be truly missed.”
The flags being flown at half-mast on both carriers and will remain in that position until Bush is laid to rest. Those flags will be presented to the Bush family, Navy officials said.
(Follow Lisa Ferdinando on Twitter: @FerdinandoDoD)