Texas Governor Greg Abbott has declared Wednesday, December 5, 2018 as an official day of mourning across the State of Texas to allow the people of Texas to show their respect and honor for President George H.W. Bush, widely known as “41”, who passed away on November 30, 2018.
Howard College is deeply saddened by his passing and we encourage all of our staff, faculty, and students to pay their individual respects in whatever way seems most appropriate to them as individuals and Americans. We offer these words of reflection on President Bush and his role in the state of Texas as well as our country:
President Bush served the people of Texas as well as the United States through his service in many venues including the Presidency, the United States Navy, the House of Representatives, the United Nations, the Republican National Committee and the Central Intelligence Agency. However, many remember him not for the position he held but rather his temperament and wisdom as a kind human being. In his recent words of respect for President Bush, Colin Powell, who served as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during Bush’s presidency said “he was a great president, and he was a perfect American.” He not only served our state with dignity and courage but he served America, and all her people, with strong leadership and grace.
President Bush has left us with several quotes and statements over the years and we have chosen a few to highlight here to remind us of the following:
Pursuing Dreams in Life: He stated “Be bold in your caring, be bold in your dreaming and above all else, always do your best.” President Bush remained active up until his death and was constantly in pursuit of his dreams, always encouraging others to set goals and actively work to reach them.
Working Together: There are no words more applicable today than those he spoke regarding teamwork. “In crucial things, unity. In important things, diversity. In all things, generosity.” President Bush set the example for serving our fellow man and genuinely taking an interest in the betterment of our state, our country and our world and he knew that we could not achieve greatness alone.
Education: We are grateful that President Bush recognized the importance of education as we develop new leaders who will one day be the catalysts of change in our country and our world. As he eloquently stated, “Think about every problem, every challenge we face. The solution to each starts with education.” We will continue to honor this quote as we teach our students to be critical thinkers and to make educated choices as they move forward in life.
President Bush has left us with a lasting legacy that will be remembered and discussed in history books for years to come. Although he himself stated, “history will point out some of the things I did wrong and some of the things I did right,” it is our duty to learn from the mistakes and spread the gift of wisdom from his successes.
He will certainly be remembered for many things, but perhaps the most eloquent words that can remind us of our moral obligation as humans came from his lips:
“America is never wholly herself unless she is engaged in high moral principle. We as a people have such a purpose today. It is to make kinder the face of the nation and gentler the face of the world.”
Our heartfelt condolences go out to the Bush family as they lay their patriarch to rest in the coming days. May we continue to learn from the lessons he has shared and the example he has set as we move forward as Texans and Americans and more importantly as humans.
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