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George W. Bush’s Eulogy for His Father

[2018年12月7日] 来源:the Washington National Cathedral 编辑:给力英语网   字号 [] [] []  

Former President George W. Bush delivered a eulogy Wednesday honoring the life of his father, former President George H. W. Bush, who died in Houston last Friday at the age of 94.Below, the full text of George W. Bush’s remarks as delivered.

Distinguished guests, including our Presidents and First Ladies, government officials, foreign dignitaries, and friends; Jeb, Neil, Marvin, Doro, and I and our families thank you all for being here.

I once heard it said of man that the idea is to die young as late as possible. At age 85, a favorite pastime of George H.W. Bush was firing up his boat, the Fidelity, and opening up the three 300 horsepower engines to fly, joyfully fly across the Atlantic with the Secret Service boats straining to keep up.

At age 90, George H.W. Bush parachuted out of an aircraft and landed on the grounds of St. Anne's by the Sea in Kennebunkport, Maine, the church where his mom was married and where he worshipped often. Mother liked to say he chose the location just in case the chute didn't open.

In his 90s, he took great delight when his closest pal, James A. Baker, smuggled a bottle of Grey Goose vodka into his hospital room. Apparently it paired well with the steak Baker had delivered from Morton's.

To his very last days, dad's life was instructive. As he aged he taught us how to grow with dignity, humor and kindness. When the good lord finally called, how to meet him with courage and with the joy of the promise of what lies ahead.

One reason dad knew how to die young is that he almost did it, twice. When he was a teenager, a staph infection nearly took his life. A few years later he was alone in the Pacific on a life raft, praying that his rescuers would find him before the enemy did. God answered those prayers. It turned out he had other plans for George H.W. Bush.

For dad's part, I think those brushes with death made him cherish the gift of life, and he vowed to live every day to the fullest.

Dad was always busy, a man in constant motion, but never too busy to share his love of life with those around him. He taught us to love the outdoors. He loved watching dogs flush a covey. He loved landing the illusive striper. And once confined to a wheelchair, he seemed happiest sitting in his favorite perch on the back porch at Walker's Point contemplating the majesty of the Atlantic.

The horizons he saw were bright and hopeful. He was a genuinely optimistic man, and that optimism guided his children and made each of us believe that anything was possible. He continually broadened his horizons with daring decisions.

He was a patriot. After high school he put college on hold and became a navy fighter pilot as World War II broke out.

Like many of his generation, he never talked about his service until his time as a public figure forced his hand. We learned of the attack, the mission completed, the shootdown. We learned of the death of his crewmates whom he thought about throughout his entire life. And we learned of the rescue.

And then another audacious decision; he moved his young family from the comforts of the East coast to Odessa, Texas. He and Mom adjusted to their arid surroundings quickly. he was a tolerant man. after all, he was kind and neighborly to the women with whom he, Mom and I shared a bathroom in our small duplex. Even after he learned their profession, ladies of the night.

Dad could relate to people from all walks of life. He was an empathetic man. He valued character over pedigree, and he was no cynic. He looked for the good in each person and he usually found it.

Dad taught us that public service is noble and necessary, that one can serve with integrity and hold true to the important values like faith and family. He strongly believed that it was important to give back to the community and country in which one lived. He recognized that serving others enriched the giver's soul. To us, his was the brightest of a thousand points of light.

When he lost, he shouldered the blame. He accepted that failure is a part of living a full life. but taught us never to be defined by failure. He showed us how setbacks can strengthen.

None of his disappointments could compare with one of life's greatest tragedies, the loss of a young child. Jeb and I were too young to remember the pain and agony he and Mom felt when our 3-year-old sister died. We only learned later that Dad, a man of quiet faith, prayed for her daily. He was sustained by the love of the Almighty and the real and enduring love of her Mom. Dad always believed that one day he would hug his precious Robin again.

He loved to laugh, especially at himself. He could tease and needle but never out of malice. He placed great value on a good joke. That's why he chose Simpson to speak.

On e-mail he had a circle of friends with whom he shared or received the latest jokes. His grading system for the quality of the joke was classic George Bush. The rare 7s and 8s were considered huge winners, most of them off-color.

George Bush knew how to be a true and loyal friend. He nurtured and honored his many friendships with a generous and giving soul. There exists thousands of handwritten notes encouraging or sympathizing or thanking his friends and acquaintances.

He had an enormous capacity to give of himself. Many a person would tell you that Dad became a mentor and a father figure in their life. He listened and he consoled. He was their friend. I think of Don Rhodes, Taylor Blanton, Jim Nantz, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and perhaps the unlikeliest of all, the man who defeated him, Bill Clinton. My siblings and I refer to the guys in this group as brothers from other mothers.

He taught us that a day was not meant to be wasted. He played golf at a legendary pace. I always wonder why he insisted on speed golf; he's a good golfer. Here's my conclusion. He played fast so he could move on to the next event, to enjoy the rest of the day, to expend his enormous energy, to live it all. He was born with just two settings, full throttle, then sleep.

He taught us what it means to be a wonderful father, grandfather and great grandfather. He was firm in his principles and supportive as we began to seek our own ways. He encouraged and comforted but never steered. We tested his patience. I know I did. But he always responded with the great gift of unconditional love.

Last Friday when I was told he had minutes to live, I called him. The guy answered the phone, said "I think he can hear you but he hasn't said anything for most of the day." I said, "Dad, I love you and you've been a wonderful father," and the last words he would ever say on Earth were, "I love you too."

To us he was close to perfect. but not totally. His short game was lousy. He wasn't exactly Fred Astaire on the dance floor. The man couldn't stomach vegetables, especially broccoli. And by the way, he passed these genetic defects along to us.

Finally, every day of his 73 years of marriage, Dad taught us all what it means to be a great husband. He married his sweetheart. He adored her. He laughed and cried with her. He was dedicated to her totally.

In his old age dad enjoyed watching police show reruns, the volume on high, all the while holding Mom's hand. After Mom died, Dad was strong, but all he really wanted to do was hold Mom's hand again.

Of course Dad taught me another special lesson. He showed me what it means to be a President who serves with integrity, leads with courage and acts with love in his heart for the citizens of our country.

When the history books are written, they will say that George H.W. Bush was a great President of the United States, a diplomat of unmatched skill, a Commander in Chief of formidable accomplishment, and a gentleman who executed the duties of his office with dignity and honor.

In his inaugural address the 41st President of the United States he said this: "We cannot hope only to leave our children a bigger car, a bigger bank account, we must hope to give them a sense of what it means to be a loyal friend, a loving parent, a citizen who leaves his home, his neighborhood and town better than he found it. What do we want the men and women who work with us to say? That we were more driven to succeed than anyone around us or that we stopped to ask if a sick child had gotten better and stayed a moment there to trade a word of friendship?"

Well, Dad, we're going to remember you for exactly that and much more, and we're going to miss you. Your decency, sincerity, and kind soul will stay with us forever. So 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. And in our grief, let us smile knowing that Dad is hugging Robin and holding Mom's hand again. 尊敬的来宾,总统和第一夫人,政府官员,外国客人,朋友们; 杰布,尼尔,多罗和我,以及我的家人,感谢你们的光临。









他是爱国者 。高中毕业后,二战爆发,他暂停大学计划而成为海军飞行员。

父亲和很多同代人一样,本来不大喜欢宣扬自己报效国家的事迹。但是,作为公众人物,我们都知道了他的经历,他执行攻击,完成任务,被击落。 我们知道了他机组人员的牺牲,以及他对此穷其一生的思索。我们也知道他最终获救了。



父亲教会我们,当“官”, 为公众服务是必须的,也是崇高的。当“政客”,也可以当得正直,并且对家庭信仰这样重要的价值观问心无愧。他坚信我们必须回报国家和社会。他知道,为别人服务,也能丰富自我的灵魂。对我们而言,父亲是“闪耀繁星”中最亮的那一颗(the brightest of a thousands points of light)(小编注:“闪耀繁星”是老布什成立的非盈利机构,旨在提倡志愿者服务)。 当他失败,他铁肩担责难。他承认,失败是完整人生的一部分。但他告诉我们,永远不要让失败来定义你的人生。他亲身实践,挫折怎样可以转化为强大。



他喜欢大笑,特别是自嘲。他喜欢开玩笑,但绝非恶意。他特别热衷于精彩的笑话。 这也是他选择辛普森参议员致悼词的原因。



他能量惊人。 很多人会告诉你,爸爸是他们生活中的导师和父亲。他乐于倾听,善于安慰,愿意和人交流。 他的好朋友,除了唐·罗德斯,泰勒·布兰顿,吉姆·南茨,阿诺德·施瓦辛格,最不可思议的,还有后来在总统竞选中打败他的比尔·克林顿。对我和我的兄弟姐妹们来说,父亲的这些朋友亲如自己同父异母的兄弟。

他告诉我们要珍惜毎一天。 他在高尔夫球场上是一个传奇。 他是一名优秀的高尔夫球手,我总是想知道他高尔夫为什么打那么快。我的结论是,打快点,才有时间参加下一个活动,用一天中剩下的时间,来消耗他旺盛的精力,不让一日虚度。看来他出生时只有两种设置:全力以赴,倒头大睡。


上周五,当我被告知他不久于人世时,赶紧打电话给他。接电话的人说:“我觉得他能听见你,但他己经一整天没说话了。” 我说,“爸爸,我爱你,你是一个很棒的父亲,”他留在世上的最后一句话是,“我也爱你。”

对我们来说,他并不完美,但已经接近完美。他不擅长于打短时比赛。在舞池里也比弗雷德·阿斯泰尔差远了。他不爱吃蔬菜,尤其讨厌西兰花。 顺便说一句,他把这些缺陷也遗传给了我们。