American leaders gathered to remember the 41st President of the United States, George H.W. Bush, who died at the age of 94 on Friday. It was an invitation-only state funeral that was arranged at the National Cathedral in Washington.
Leaders from all around the world gathered together at the funeral. But there was an awkward silence, when current US President Donald Trump walked into the National Cathedral with wife Melania Trump. Trump was two seats away from Hillary Clinton who looked strangely ahead of her as the presidential couple arrived and sat down. Trump and Melania, Barack Obama and his wife Michelle, Bill Clinton and his wife and former Secretary of State Hillary and Jimmy Carter and former first lady Rosalynn Carter, all shared the same row. Melania politely shook the hands of Barack and Michelle Obama and Bill Clinton, but she waved to Hillary Clinton.
However, Trump shook the hands with Obamas and sat down on his seat. As Hillary was Trump’s rival in the 2016 presidential elections, Trump looked away without greeting her. It was the first time the Trumps and the Clintons gathered together at a public event, since Trump’s victory. Trump and Clinton are rivals of each other since 2017 and have always attacked on each other with clashing allegations.
In that tense silence, the former Presidents and their wives were waiting for the casket to arrive to divert the situation. Later, George W Bush, the former 43rd US president, shook hands with all the leaders before sitting across the aisle with his family.
George W Bush spoke fondly about his father, George H.W. Bush, describing him as a “noble man”. He praised his father and said, “He accepted failure is part of living a full life, but taught us never to be defined by failure. He showed us how setbacks can strengthen. Through our tears, let us know the blessings of knowing and loving you. A great and noble man, the best father a son or daughter could have.”