There has certainly been a lot said and written over the past couple of days and there will be more to come about George H.W. Bush, who died over the weekend at the age of 94.

The 41st President of the United States served only one term (1989-93) but lived a full life and served his country well before and after his tenure in the White House.  He may not have been that popular when he left office but I think the public embraced him over time and was especially impressed by how he carried himself in his later years.

His genuine love of family and life was evident time and time again and the friendship he developed with his onetime bitter rival Bill Clinton has left a lasting legacy and an example of what leadership is all about: working together for the benefit of others.

I came across a list of some quotes from a man often known simply as “41” that sums up his life best:

  • “I’m a conservative, but I’m not a nut about it.”
  • “The day will come, and it is not far off, when the legacy of Lincoln will finally be fulfilled at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, when a black man or woman will sit in the Oval Office. When that day comes, the most remarkable thing about it will be how naturally it occurs.”
  • “History will point out some of the things I did wrong and some of the things I did right.”
  • “It’s much worse to read criticism about your son than yourself.” Of course his son George W. served as the 43rd
  • “We don’t want an America that is closed to the world. What we want is a world that is open to America.”
  • “I do not like broccoli and haven’t liked it since I was a little kid and my mother made me eat it. And I’m the President of the United States and I’m not going to eat any more broccoli.”
  • “Read my lips: no new taxes.” The quote that cost him re-election in 1992.
  • “There is nothing more fulfilling than to serve your country and your fellow citizens and to do it well.”
  • Never ask anyone over 70 how they feel. They’ll tell you.”
  • “Old guys can still do fun things.” This from a man who celebrated his 75th, 80th, 85th and 90th birthdays by skydiving.

 

Rest well President Bush and thank you for your service.