North Carolina leaders are remembering former President George H. W. Bush following his death Friday night.
Gov. Roy Cooper ordered flags lowered to half-staff at state facilities in honor of the passing of the nation’s 41st president. Bush was 94.
“President George H.W. Bush was a true statesman dedicated to serving the country he loved and leading the charge for a more compassionate and united world,” Cooper said in a statement. “We are grateful for his commitment to patriotism and public service. May his legacy inspire all of us to work toward a kinder and gentler nation, and may our thoughts and prayers bring comfort to his family.”
U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis said Bush was instrumental in ending the Cold War.
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“George H.W. Bush will be long remembered for dedicating his life to protecting and bettering the country he loved,” Tillis said in a statement. “From his heroic service as a Navy pilot during World War II, to his steady leadership as President and playing a pivotal role to end the Cold War, he always made the tough decisions and put the nation’s interests first.”
Congressman David Price said Bush was an effective leader for our nation by reaching across party lines despite serving just one term as president.
“We mourn the death of President George H. W. Bush,” Price said. “He was a skilled diplomat and champion of American alliances, co-architect of a major budget agreement that improved our fiscal future, and one of the most effective modern presidents in working with both parties in the Congress.”
Congressman George Holding said Bush was admired for his life of service to the United States. Bush was a Navy pilot in World War II. Later he was elected to Congress. He also led the CIA before serving as Ronald Reagan’s vice president.
“President Bush was a man of unimpeachable character and integrity whose decency and kindness earned him the respect and admiration of the nation he served,” Holding said. “He was a dedicated husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather whose love for his country was surpassed only by his love for his family.”
Congressman G.K. Butterfield offered his condolences on social media.
“I join the country in mourning the loss of President George H.W. Bush,” he said in a tweet. “He led a life of public service with dignity, honor, and respect. Prayers to the Bush family as we reflect on a life well lived.”
NC GOP chairman Robin Hayes said Bush was a man of character and honor.
“Tonight we lost a great man — a man of honor and character,” Hayes said. “We are sending prayers to the entire Bush family. Well done thy good and faithful servant.”
UNC System President and former U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings called Bush a great statesman and a friend.
“President H. W. Bush was a leader of the highest moral character, who dedicated his life to fulfilling his responsibilities and duties to his country and family,” Spellings said. “As a statesman, a diplomat, and a man of honor, he stands without peer. I’ll be forever grateful for his friendship, his compassion, and most of all the example he set, reminding us that there is always more we can do to better serve our fellow Americans. My heart is with the Bush family today as we celebrate the life of a great husband, father, and leader.”
Bush, who served one term from 1989-1993, was preceded in death earlier this year by his wife, Barbara. His son George W. Bush was elected president in 2000 and served two terms, cementing the Bush family as a national political dynasty.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.