Statement from Edward Nixon, brother of President Richard Nixon,

on the passing of President George H.W. Bush

December 5, 2018

To the families of great presidents: I join with my nieces, Tricia and Julie in expressing our gratitude and deepest family condolences.

Ceremonies for G.H.W. Bush were all beautifully choreographed and executed, thanks to all participants (including “41” having planned the day himself!).

The youngest brother of “37” would also like to recall the eulogy delivered in 1994 for RN at Whittier College. My own special memory of “41” is personal and vivid. I recalled a memorial event at the Nimitz birthplace in Fredericksburg, TX, celebrating the 50th anniversary of VJ Day. George W. Bush as Governor of Texas addressed the great crowd attending from all over the world.

Walking back toward the tented shelter for lunch I met Barbara Bush who had stopped halfway across the grassy playing field. She was exactly as advertised, very gracious and kind, seemingly willing to discuss any topic with a frown or more likely a smile.

Upon entering the luncheon an usher explained that I would be seated next to George H. W. Bush.  What an honor. What a pleasant surprise! The youngest Naval Aviator seated next to one of the skinniest. His laughter at that comment broke the ice for any topic… even noting the beauty of our Great Constitution, which had prevailed in RN’s decision to keep the faith with the people and the office he loved and respected above himself.

The season for giving always reminds me of RN’s positive attitude towards the purpose gifts, to wit:


Footprints of Love

May we always be willing to give
even what we cherish most
to make the world

a safe haven
for future generations
as their missions of curiosity
reveal the limits of understanding.

May those who succeed us
persist in the journey
with care and concern
no matter how difficult or long.

And when we depart
this realm of space and time
to approach the infinite and eternal,
may we leave behind
only footprints of love
among the fingerprints of God.

Edward Nixon | 1994