尊敬的各位来宾,包括我们的总统和第一夫人,政府官员,外国政要和朋友们;杰布,尼尔,马文,多萝西,我和我们的家人都感谢大家的到来。

我曾听人说过,人应该保持着年轻的心老去。85岁时,乔治HW布什最喜欢的消遣是开着他的船——忠诚号——开启三个300马力的发动机疾行,快乐地穿越大西洋,而特勤局的船只能奋力地跟着。

90岁时,乔治HW布什从一架飞机上跳伞,降落在缅因州肯纳邦克波特的海边圣安妮的陆地上,那里是他妈妈结婚的教堂,他经常在那里祈祷。母亲喜欢说他选择了这个位置,只是以防降落伞没打不开。

在他90多岁的时候,他最高兴的是他最亲密的朋友詹姆斯贝克将一瓶灰雁伏特加酒悄悄带进他的病房时。 显然,它与贝克从莫顿公司选来的牛排搭配得很好。

直到他生命的最后几天,父亲的生活一直给人以启发。 随着年龄的增长,他教会我们如何有尊严,有幽默感和善良成长。 他也教会我们当上帝最终召唤我们时,我们如何怀着勇敢和对未来承诺的喜悦去迎接他。

父亲知道如何保持年轻的原因是,他有两次几乎差点死了。 当他十几岁时,葡萄球菌感染差点夺走了他的生命。几年后,他独自一人在太平洋上漂流,在救生筏上祈祷救援人员会在敌人来之前找到他。 上帝回应了那些祈祷。事实证明上帝把乔治HW布什留在人世间,是要他去完成其他事。

对父亲来说,我认为那些与死亡擦身而过的经历让他珍惜生命之礼,并且他发誓充实地过好每一天。

爸爸总是很忙,一个人不停地奔波,但从来没有忘记与周围的人分享他对生活的热爱。 他教会我们热爱户外运动。 他喜欢看着狗洗澡,也喜欢捕获一条大鱼。后来他被限制在轮椅上,但他似乎仍会开心地坐在沃克角别墅后廊他最喜欢的位置上,欣赏着大西洋的威严。

他看到的地平线是光明和充满希望的。 他是一个真正乐观的人,这种乐观引导他的孩子们,让我们每个人都相信一切皆有可能。他不断地作出大胆的决定来开阔眼界。

他是个爱国者。 高中毕业后,他将大学学业搁置,并在第二次世界大战爆发时成为海军战斗机飞行员。

像那一代的许多人一样,他从未谈过他对祖国的贡献,直到他成为公众人物,迫使他不得不这样做。 我们知道到了那次袭击,任务完成,飞机被击落。 我们知道他的队员死了,也知道了他一生一直都在追忆他们。 我们还知道了那次救援。

然后是另一个大胆的决定:他把他年轻的家庭从东海岸的舒适区搬到得克萨斯州的敖德萨。 他和妈妈很快适应了那里干旱的环境。他是一个宽容的人。即使在他了解到那些在夜晚工作的女士的职业之后,他仍然和那些与我们在小型双层公寓共用一间浴室的女士们和善相处。

父亲可以与各界人士交往。 他是一个善解人意的人。 他重视品格而不是血统,他也不愤世嫉俗。 他寻找每个人的优点,并且通常都会找到。

父亲教导我们,公共服务是高尚和必要的,人们可以诚信服务,坚持信仰和家庭等重要价值观。 他坚信回馈社区和国家非常重要。 他认识到服务他人可以丰富给予者的灵魂。 对我们来说,他是最亮的明灯。

当他失败时,他承担了责任。 他承认失败是充实生活的一部分。 但教导我们永远不要被失败所定义。 他向我们展示了挫折让人们更坚强。

对他来说,何种失望都无法与他生命中最大的悲剧相比:痛失爱女。

杰布和我当时都太小了,不记得当我们3岁的妹妹去世时他和母亲承受了多么大的痛苦。我们后来才知道,有着安静信仰的父亲,每天都为她祈祷。他受到全能者的爱和她母亲真切而持久的爱的支持。父亲总是相信有一天他会再次拥抱他心爱的罗宾。

他喜欢笑,尤其是自嘲。他或许会拿别人开玩笑,但绝不会出于恶意。他非常重视优质笑话,这就是他选择辛普森发言的原因。

他有一圈朋友与他通过邮件分享最新的笑话。他的笑话质量评级系统是典型的乔治布什作风。罕见的7级和8级被认为是绝顶的笑话,其中大多数有些低级庸俗。

乔治HW布什知道如何成为一个真心而忠诚的朋友。他以慷慨和乐于付出的灵魂滋养和升华了和许多人的友谊。他遗存着成千上万的手写笔记,在信中或鼓励、或同情、或感谢他的朋友和熟人们。

他心怀极大的主动给与他人的能量。很多人会告诉你,父亲在他们的生活中成为了导师和父亲般的角色。他倾听他人,他安慰他们。他是他们的朋友。我想起了唐罗德斯,泰勒布兰顿,吉姆南茨,阿诺德施瓦辛格,还有也许是最不可思议的——那位击败了他的人——比尔克林顿。我的兄弟姐妹们和我把这群人当作来自其他母亲的兄弟姐妹。

他告诉我们,不能浪费一天的生命。他以风驰电掣的速度打高尔夫球。我总是想知道他为什么坚持闪电高尔夫;他是一名优秀的高尔夫球手。这是我的结论:他快速打完,就可以继续参加下一场比赛,享受一天的剩余时间,继续在生活中完全消耗掉他巨大的能量。他打出生起就只有两个设置:开足马力,然后睡觉。

他教会了我们究竟如何成为一位非常棒的父亲、祖父和曾祖父。当我们开始寻求自己的方式时,他坚持自己的原则,又无条件支持着我们。他鼓励和安慰他人,但从未操纵过任何人。我们测试过他的耐心。我知道我这么做过。但他总是报之以他的伟大天赋——无条件的爱。

上周五,当我被告知他只有几分钟的弥留时,我给他打了电话。那个家伙接了电话,说:“我觉得他能听到你,但他一天中大部分时间都是什么都没说。”我说,“父亲,我爱你,你是一个很棒的父亲。”他在地球上说的最后一句话是,“我也爱你。”

对我们来说,他近乎完美。但并非十全十美。他打高尔夫的短杆很臭。在舞池里的他并不是弗雷德阿斯泰尔。父亲不能吃蔬菜,尤其是西兰花。顺便说一下,他把这些遗传缺陷传递给了我们。

最后,在他73年婚姻的每一天,父亲都教会了我们成为一个伟大的丈夫意味着什么。他迎娶了他的挚爱。他崇拜她。他和她休戚与共。他对她完全无私地奉献。

在他年老的时候,父亲喜欢看警察表演的重播,音量很高,一直握住母亲的手。母亲去世后,父亲很坚强,但他心里最想做的就是握着母亲的手。

当然,父亲教给我另一堂特别的课。他向我展示了如何成为一名正直地服务国家、心怀对国家公民的大爱、以勇气和行动来领导国家的总统。

在撰写史书时,他们会说乔治HW布什是一名伟大的美国总统,有着无与伦比技巧的外交官,有着巨大成就的总司令,一位以尊严和荣誉履行其职责的绅士。

在作为美国第41位总统的就职演说中,他说:“我们不能指望只给孩子留下更大的汽车、更富有的银行户头,我们必须希望他们了解如何成为一个忠诚的朋友,一个慈爱的家长,一位把自己的家、社区和城市变得比他一开始看到的更好的公民。我们更希望和我们一起工作的人们说什么?是说,我们比我们周围的任何人都更执着于成功?还是说,我们会停下来问一个生病的孩子感觉身体是否好点了,并在那里稍等片刻,来换取一段友谊?“

好吧,父亲,我们将会记住你的确如此、不仅如此,而且我们会一直想念你。你的正派、真诚和善良的灵魂将永远留在我们身边。因此,在泪眼之间,让我们享受这份能够认识你和爱你的福分,你这位伟大而高尚的人。你是作为儿女可以拥有的最好的父亲。在悲痛中,让我们微笑,因为我们知道父亲正抱着罗宾,也再次拉着母亲的手。

READ ON FOR THE FULL TRANSCRIPT OF GEORGE W. BUSH’S MEMORIAL FOR HIS FATHER:

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.