Bush family returns to Capitol rotunda to view casket, thank visitors

George W. Bush and wife Laura hug, greet well-wishers

George H.W. Bush honored in Washington

WASHINGTON (AP/RNN) — Former President George W. Bush, his wife Laura, and other members of the Bush family returned to the Capitol rotunda on Tuesday evening to again visit George H.W. Bush’s casket and greet members of the public visiting to pay respects to the 41st president.

The family was also present on Monday, when Republican leaders eulogized Bush, who died at 94 years old on Friday night, in a solemn ceremony at the U.S. Capitol.

The 43rd president, George H.W. Bush’s oldest son, hugged well-wishers, shook hands and even took a picture with a baby.

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and George W. Bush’s daughters Jenna Bush Hager and Barbara Pierce Bush were also present.

Bushes visit Capitol, greet public visiting George HW Bush casket

Earlier in the day former Republican Senator and presidential candidate Bob Dole paid his respects in a moving moment, rising from his wheelchair and saluting.

Colin Powell, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under Bush and later Secretary of State under his son, also visited on Tuesday.

Bob Dole stands to salute Bush's casket

On Monday evening President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump were among the mourners paying their respects to Bush at the rotunda.

The Trumps stood in front of Bush’s casket with their eyes closed for a few moments before Trump gave a salute.

The casket arrived Monday afternoon from Houston. The public will pay their respects to him until 8:45 a.m. ET Wednesday.

Bush’s state funeral is set for Wednesday in Washington, where he will be eulogized by his son, as well as former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, former Sen. Alan Simpson and biographer Jon Meacham.

All former and current presidents are expected to be in attendance at the state funeral: Presidents Donald Trump, Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, as well as all former and current first ladies, with the exception of Rosalynn Carter, CNN reported.

Former Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden will also attend.

Prince Charles, the heir to the British throne, will also pay his respects Wednesday, representing his mother, Queen Elizabeth II. The German government said Chancellor Angela Merkel will also attend the memorial service for the former president.

In remarks at the Capitol on Monday, House Speaker Paul Ryan praised the two-term congressman from Texas as a “great man” and a “gentle soul.”

Vice President Mike Pence called him an example whose “lifetime of service will be enshrined in the hearts of the American people forever.”

“He was a great leader who made a great difference in the life of this nation,” Pence said. “But he was also just a good man who was devoted to his wife, his family and his friends.”

He said the 41st president “left America and the world more peaceful, prosperous and secure.”

Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-KY, the majority leader, praised Bush for his steady leadership.

“With his even temperament and hard-won expertise, George Herbert Walker Bush steered this country as straight as he steered that airplane,” he said, referring to Bush’s time as a Navy pilot in World War II.

Bush chose not to have a formal funeral procession through downtown Washington. Burial at his presidential library at Texas A&M University is set for Thursday.

Copyright 2018 Associated Press. All rights reserved. Raycom News Network contributed to this report.