In a letter shared with friends on Monday, December 3rd, the day George HW Bush’s body was laid in repose at the Capitol before his funeral, former Congressman Tom McMillen memorializes the late president with memories of working with him on Capitol Hill including on the authorization to go to war in Iraq in 1991.
In one memorable tale he writes, “I ventured into the House gym to work out and I could see from all the Secret Service agents that President Bush was playing racquetball with some of his former House colleagues (as a former House member, he still had gym privileges). As I was working out, I was watching CNN and an announcement came over the network that Saddam Hussein had surrendered. By then, President Bush was in the sauna with his buddies. I turned to the Secret Service agents and asked if the President knew about this development, and they told me to go tell him the good news. So I opened the door of the sauna and with steam blocking my view, I said to the President that I had just heard that the war was over. He said, “Tom—that is truly great news and thanks for letting me know.” I’ve wondered how often someone has the opportunity to tell a President that a war is over.”
President George HW’s body will lie in state until Wednesday, December 3rd where it will then be moved to Houston, Texas for his official funeral.