Remembering President George H.W. Bush – State Senator Dan Hegeman

Last month, former President George H.W. Bush, a World War II veteran and dedicated public servant, passed away at the age of 94. He was preceded in death by his wife, former first lady Barbara Bush, who passed away in April. As is tradition, President Bush’s body lied in state in the rotunda of the United States Capitol before his official state funeral, which was held on Dec. 5. Many visitors paid their respects to the former president, a man who led his country with honor and dignity. I have no doubt that history will remember President Bush as a strong leader with a gentle heart, the type of man who knows America is at its best when it stays true to its founding ideals of liberty, equality and opportunity — a beacon of light to the rest of the world.

With the passing of our nation’s 41st president, I am reminded of one of his greatest triumphs. In August 1990, the authoritarian leader of Iraq, Saddam Hussein, launched an invasion of Kuwait. President Bush was swift in condemning what he declared an act of unacceptable military aggression. As leader of the free world, the president rallied American allies across Europe, Asia and the Middle East, launching a counterstrike, with authorization from Congress, to stop Saddam Hussein’s plan in its tracks. The resulting Gulf War lasted barely more than a month, with the ground invasion toppling Iraq’s hold in Kuwait in a mere 100 hours.

President Bush was able to rally American allies so effectively because he understood the power of international camaraderie. He was a kindhearted man who treated everyone he met with the greatest respect. That’s the sign of a strong leader. Today, we can all be thankful for the service of President Bush, a man who stood for something greater than himself.

As always, please feel free to call, email or write with your ideas or concerns. My Capitol office number is (573) 751-1415, my email is dan.hegeman@senate.mo.gov and my mailing address is Room 332, State Capitol Building, Jefferson City, MO 65101.