12.03.18

'A life well lived': State Lawmakers Remember Bush

MARTINSBURG — West Virginia lawmakers expressed their sadness Saturday over the death of former President George H.W. Bush. 

Bush — who was 94 — died Friday in Houston, Texas. 

His death follows that of his wife, Barbara Bush, eight months earlier. 

On Saturday, state Del. John Overington, R-Berkeley, took to social media to remember the 41st president. 

In the summer of 1992, Overington visited the White House with more than a dozen state legislators from across the United States. 

“He was advocating a Balanced Budget Amendment for the federal government and recognized I was leading the effort in West Virginia to amend the U.S. Constitution through the Article V process,” Overington wrote in his Facebook post. 

Overington said the resolution — HCR 36 — was not passed until 2016. 

“It wasn’t until 2016, after the GOP took control of the West Virginia Legislature, that we were actually able to get my resolution, HCR 36, passed as West Virginia became the 28th state to do so,” he said. 

Overington said following Bush’s briefing, the president spoke to each state legislator individually. 

“I showed him my annual Citizens’ Poll results,” he said. “He looked at the poll and said he liked the results, especially mentioning the 89 percent support for voluntary school prayer.” 

Overington said he told the president he would like to make him an honorary West Virginia citizen, and he placed a state pin on his suit. 

The date of the visit — June 8 — coincided with Barbara Bush’s birthday. Overington, who had heard the first lady liked blackberry wine, took a bottle from a Jefferson County winemaker, Frank Gift. 

“Later I received a personal thank you note from the first lady that I forwarded to Frank,” he said. 

The former president was also known for his personal thank you notes. An Associated Press story published Saturday said Bush was known to handwrite thousands of thank you notes — “each one personalized, each one quickly dispatched.” 

“Even his political adversaries would acknowledge his exquisite manners,” the story said. 

Overington said he received a second invitation to the White House from Bush later that summer. This time the subject centered around school choice, an issue for which Overington was advocating. 

Overington and his wife, JoAnn, visited the White House and met Vice President Dan Quayle and Education Secretary Lamar Alexander. 

“JoAnn, always an animal advocate, wanted to see Barbara Bush’s dog Millie,” Overington said. “Although we didn’t see Millie, JoAnn did spot her water bowl near the White House flowers, so I took a picture of it.” 

U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., also issued a statement Saturday about the former president, expressing her sadness. 

“He was an incredible public servant, statesman and American,” Capito said. “He loved this country and spent his entire life working to protect and promote the principles and ideals we value most.” 

Bush served in many capacities, including as a congressman, an ambassador to the United Nations, as chairman of the Republican National Committee, director of the CIA, as a two-term vice president and as president. 

“I feel very honored to have known him,” Capito said in her statement. “I feel even more appreciative of everything he did for our country. My thoughts are with the Bush family, and I pray that they find peace in the incredible legacy of family and country that he leaves behind. 

“What a life well lived.”

 

 


By:  Staff
Source: The Martinsburg Journal