Senator Susan Collins and Governor Paul LePage have issued statements on the passing of former President George H.W. Bush, who died last night at the age of 94.

Regardless of political affiliation, any Mainer knows how much the former President and his wife loved our state, and now with them both gone, there is a whole in our collective hearts.

This statement was issued this morning from Senator Susan Collins:

On Ocean Avenue in Kennebunkport, Maine, stands a simple yet powerful monument, a gift from the people of that small town to a friend and neighbor.  The monument is a United States Navy anchor; the friend and neighbor is President George Herbert Walker Bush.

“It is a fitting tribute.  President Bush often called the family home at Walker’s Point his ‘anchor to windward,’ a special place of unsurpassed natural beauty in a caring community.  Through the years, it was been the place that gave him the strength to face the many challenges he took on in dedicated service to our country.

“It is fitting in another way.  As a Navy aviator in World War II, in Congress, as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Vice President, and President, George H.W. Bush consistently and vigorously demonstrated the values that are the anchor of American society.  Courage, duty, honor, and compassion define our nation and his life.  As he encouraged Americans to be a “thousand points of light” through service to others, he shone the brightest.

“These values were also demonstrated by his First Lady, Barbara, his devoted partner for 73 wonderful years.  As we recall what President and Mrs. Bush gave to our nation, we also reflect upon what we have lost. 

“The end of a life so devoted to the highest ideals of the human spirit brings to mind the Parable of the Talents.  The master, leaving on a journey, entrusts a servant with a portion of his treasure.  Upon his return, the master is delighted to find that his wealth was wisely invested and multiplied.

“George Herbert Walker Bush was entrusted with the great treasure of principles, determination, and courage.  He invested that treasure wisely and multiplied it to the benefit of all.  Like the master in the New Testament, to him we say, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant.’ May God bless him and keep his memory always anchored in our hearts.”

This from Maine Governor Paul LePage, also released today:

"It was with great sadness that Ann and I heard the news last night of the passing of President Bush. America has lost an icon," stated Governor LePage. "He can now rest with his beloved Barbara."

"President Bush has been an unwavering supporter of Maine and a vibrant part of the Kennebunkport community for decades. We shall keep the Bush family in our hearts at this difficult time. On behalf of the people of Maine, we send our deepest condolences. Know that President Bush's life and legacy of public service will be an eternal source of hope and inspiration for the people of Maine and around the world," Governor LePage said. "America has lost a true gentle-man."

The Governor's Office also issued the directive that both the United States Flag and the State Of Maine Flag both be flown at half-staff for the next 30 days to honor the 41st President of the United States, the late George Herbert Walker Bush.

 

 

 

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This brought me such comfort this morning. I had the opportunity to talk with my grandpa about the afterlife. This is what he said: ​He answered without any hesitation. “Yes, I think about it. I used to be afraid. I used to be scared of dying. I used to worry about death. But now in some ways I look forward to it.” And I started crying. I managed to choke out, “Well, why? What do you look forward to?” And he said, “Well, when I die, I’m going to be reunited with these people that I’ve lost.” And I asked who he hoped to see. He replied, I hope I see Robin, and I hope I see my mom. I haven’t yet figured it out if it will be Robin as the three year old that she was, this kind of chubby, vivacious child or if she’ll come as a middle-aged woman, an older woman. And then he said, “I hope she’s the three-year-old.” Robin was the daughter this giant of a man lost years before to leukemia. The little girl he held tightly: who spoke the phrase I have heard Gampy repeat for my entire life, forever knitting Robin’s voice into the tightly woven fabric of our family: “I love you more than tongue can tell.” A post shared by jennabhager (@jennabhager) on