A number of former presidents and other influential figures attended Barbara Bush’s funeral in Houston on Saturday, including Melania Trump, though not President Donald Trump himself.
The former first lady’s memorial service, held in St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Houston, Texas, was attended by her family, including former presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, and her daughter-in-law Laura Bush. Her other children were present as well, including Gov. Jeb Bush and his wife Columbia, Neil and Maria Bush, Dorothy Bush Koch and her husband Bobby and Marvin and Margaret Bush.
Former presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton were there, as well as former first ladies Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton. First Lady Melania Trump made the trip to Texas for the service, though her husband, current President Donald Trump, decided not to attend, reportedly to “avoid disruptions” out of respect for the family.
“First Lady Melania Trump will attend the memorial service for Barbara Bush this Saturday on behalf of the First Family. To avoid disruptions due to added security, and out of respect for the Bush Family and friends attending the service, President Trump will not attend,” the White House said in a statement, according to CNN.
President Trump commemorated the former first lady’s life in a press conference from his Mar-a-Lago golf resort on Wednesday, saying that she was a “wonderful, wonderful person” and “a titan in American life.”
“Her strength and toughness really embodied the spirit of our country,” the president said. “She was a woman of proud patriotism and profound faith.”
Former President Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn also missed the funeral. President Carter was travelling overseas at the time, and former First Lady Rosalynn carter is still recovering from an intestinal surgery, according toa spokesperson at the Carter Center.
Barbara Bush passed away on Tuesday, April 17. She was 92 years old. A total of 1,500 guests were expected to attend her service and pay their respects, both to her memory and her grieving family.
Other notable attendees included former Vice President Dick Cheney, who also served as defense secretary under President George H.W. Bush; former Vice President Dan Quayle, Dr. Condoleeza Rice and Chelsea Clinton.
Barbara Bush was the only woman in American history to see both her husband and her son sworn in as President of the United States. Abigail Adams came close — she was the wife of John Adams, the second president; and the mother of John Quincy Adams, the sixth president. However, she passed away before her son was elected.