Southern Illinois remembers Pres. George H.W. Bush - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Southern Illinois remembers Pres. George H.W. Bush

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WSIL -- President George H.W. Bush, the 41st president of the United States, is remembered as a lifelong public servant.

Bush died at his home in Houston Friday night. He was 94 years old. 

"He had a great ethic of public service, going all the way back to being the youngest aviator in the Navy at age 19 and that whole ethic is something that we ought to honor," said John Jackson, professor at the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute, who has been involved in politics for the past several decades. 

Jackson remembers Bush as a leader who inspired both sides of the aisle, calling him a gentleman and a statesman who spent his life dedicated to his country. 

Jackson says he will remember Bush for leading the nation through the final years of the Cold War, the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the tearing down of the Berlin Wall. 

"He managed the fall of the Berlin Wall and all of that winning of the Cold War." Jackson said. "For reasons I've never understood the Republicans want to give all that to Reagan, but Bush actually managed all that."

During his decades in public service, Bush earned respect from politicians on both sides of the aisle.

In a statement, Democratic Senator Dick Durbin, who served in Congress during Bush's time in the White House said, "President Bush devoted his entire life to America. He was humble, caring, and principled, qualities we venerate in a President."

Southern Illinois Congressman Mike Bost said. "He was a true public servant and a man of unquestioned character. The Bush family is in our prayers."

President Bush will lie in state at the Capitol from Monday evening to Wednesday morning before his funeral. 

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