Monday, December 3, 2018

Memories of President George H. W. Bush

My maternal grandfather shared a birthday with George H. W. Bush. He was six years old on the day the 41st President of the United States was born.

I was too young to remember President Reagan's first presidential election but I remember his re-election. It was years before this elementary school student understood that the Bush in “Reagan-Bush Administration” mentioned in the news referred to the vice president.

I don't remember understanding President Reagan encouraging George Bush to “win one for the Gipper,” but I remember when he did.

I didn't understand the significance of Iraq invading Kuwait other than it seemed like a case of international bullying. Among us middle school students the most significant part of the news was the President of the United States threatening to “kick Saddam Hussein's a--.” Such words among world leaders seemed to be a first in living memory for anyone we knew.

I remember President Bush's decisive and effective action to liberate Kuwait, and afterwards him riding sky-high popularity in the 90 percent neighborhood.

I remember the battle that was the Supreme Court nomination of Clarence Thomas. I don't remember him nominating David Souter, though I remember the disappointment that it was and that the name Souter came to embody.

I was in high school by the time President Bush was up for re-election. I didn't follow the campaign, but to some it didn't seem possible that his popularity and approval among the people could fall short in the election to Slick Willy. When he did, I remember my sister arriving at school in tears the next day.

In his post-presidency, I mainly remember he went skydiving and became friends with the guy who booted him from the Oval Office.

He also became known as the father of his children. He's only the second President to have a son also elected President. Another son was the governor of the state in which I grew up.

No matter one's place in society or the level one attains, at the end of your years, the thing we come back to is family, and the family of George H. W. Bush is a testament to the life that he lived and the love that he had for them. I think of my own grandfather, what our extended family mean to me, and how grateful I am for the spiritual legacy they left for me.

Faith seem to have gotten progressively important and public in the Bush family through its generations. President Bush 43 was very open about his faith in Jesus Christ, even with other leaders of other nations. Times of thinking about the passing of others are good opportunities to think about one's eternal destiny. We don't just meet each other “on the other side,” but there is one Mediator who delivers those who have faith in Him. Pointing people to the Savior is the best legacy to give anyone.

Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.

For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time, for which I was appointed a preacher and an apostle—I am speaking the truth in Christ and not lying—a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth (1 Timothy 2:1-7).

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