The other day Jonathan wrote about the unveiling of President Bush's portrait at the White House, and the beautiful speech 43 gave that day. I could not attend because I had a board meeting in Florida, but my wife and my 9 year old, Lucy, did go. They are huge fans of George & Laura Bush who treated them the way an aunt and uncle would, so Lucy was thrilled when the former President saw here and said, "Here's my girlfriend!" before scooping her up in his arms.
That said, one of the more poignant photos from that day was this one, with President Bush's father, the first President Bush. By my count he's 88, which means 79 years separating these two. It also speaks to something else: when George H.W. Bush was fighting the Japanese as a Navy pilot, he was fighting for a better future for people like my daughter: the Chinese. What a symmetry.
I wish I knew more about the senior Bush. Wonder if Peter can fill us in. One of the speeches I was so grateful to be given was the one for the ship named for the former President. It allowed me to dig in this man's background a bit. Now whenever I see him, I think of the young man who enlisted on his 18th birthday, becoming the youngest pilot in the Navy.
When then-pilot George Bush was shot down, he was rescued by a sub named the San Jacinto, for the huge battle that turned the tide in the war for Texan independence. Just before the battle, Sam Houston told his outnumbered troops, "Be men, be free men, that your children may bless their father's name." If you read the speech, you will see how the younger Bush used those words.
The child in this photo has a child's understanding of history. I hope, however, that her father has taught her enough that she will always be grateful for men like the one she is with here.