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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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One step away
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Memorial service for former first lady

Photo by Photo by Cassie Stricker

Barbara Bush’s grave is adorned with flowers.

Aggies gathered outside the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum Tuesday evening to remember Barbara Pierce Bush and her contributions to the nation and Texas A&M.
The ceremony, organized by the intern staff at the Bush Library, was held at the Bush Library fountain at 8 p.m. in honor of the former first lady. After a brief prayer, Alexandra Gonzalez, chief ambassador to the Bush School of Government and graduate student, spoke about Bush and her role in the A&M community. To close the ceremony, the Texas A&M Women’s Chorus sang the Spirit of Aggieland.
In her speech, Gonzalez said Aggies have a responsibility to continue promoting the values of service that Bush exemplified.
“Mrs. Bush was an example to many of those who knew and loved her,” Gonzalez said. “This is especially true for Aggies, who yearn for public service and dedicate their lives for the greater good. … That is such a beautiful burden and responsibility for each and every one of us to have to carry throughout the rest of our time here at Texas A&M and throughout our careers.”
Gonzalez said Bush loved A&M, and in turn A&M demonstrated their love for her when she was buried in College Station.
“Just this past weekend, as we saw with Mrs. Bush’s funeral services, we saw firsthand her love for Texas A&M University, specifically for the Corps of Cadets and for the Texas A&M Singing Cadets,” Gonzalez said. “Our cadets ensured Mrs. Bush’s body was appropriately greeted with a Texas Aggie greeting, with over 700 cadets that lined both sides of Barbara Bush Drive.”
Bush was welcomed by the community when she was buried at the Bush Library on Saturday, according to Gonzalez.
“Along the entire route of her motorcade, she was also greeted by the thousands here in the Bryan-College Station community, showing their patriotism, waving their American flags and standing in complete silence as she passed by each of them,” Gonzalez said. “That, my friends, is how you demonstrate loyalty and respect.”
In addition to hosting the ceremony, the Bush Library interns organized a book drive to honor Bush’s dedication to literacy and education. Bethany Irvine, public programs intern at the Bush Library and communication senior, said the drive is one way community members can honor Bush’s memory.
“Our book drive is for new and gently used children’s books and will be available through Saturday,” Irvine said. “People can bring and donate books into the blue boxes located at the entrance of our museum and if they want to be involved later after the book drive is closed, they can contact Books and a Blanket, which are located in the Bryan-College Station area.”
Willie Blackmon, Class of 1973, attended the ceremony and said Bush was an inspiration to the American public.
“Barbara Bush, to me, was a role model on how to be a good wife, a good friend to her husband, a good friend to the public, a life of selfless public service and teacher on how to help each other,” Blackmon said. “She was always so concerned about helping people to read and to write, because if you can’t read and write, you can’t earn a living. You can’t get an education. I think of her as a role model and a person who you can emulate her life if you put her life into your world, you will have a successful life.”

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