According to CNN reporter Jamie Gangel, this was the code word that the Bush family used to let each other know that their patriarch and 41st President of the United States, George Herbert Walker Bush had finally passed away.
CAVU means, “Ceiling and Visibility Unlimited.” According to the reporter who appeared on Don Lemon last night, Bush used that phrase often to describe his life.
The former president passed away on Friday night at 10.10 p.m. his spokesperson Jim McGrath confirmed.
“George Herbert Walker Bush, World War II naval aviator, Texas oil pioneer, and 41st President of the United States of America, died on November 30, 2018. He was 94 and is survived by his five children and their spouses, 17 grandchildren, eight great grandchildren, and two siblings,” the former president’s office said in a statement.
“He was preceded in death by his wife of 73 years, Barbara; his second child Pauline “Robin” Bush; and his brothers Prescott and William or “Bucky” Bush.”
43rd President and son, George W. Bush released a statement on behalf of the family,
“Jeb, Neil, Marvin, Doro, and I are saddened to announce that after 94 remarkable years, our dear Dad has died. George H. W. Bush was a man of the highest character and the best dad a son or daughter could ask for,” he wrote alongside a photo of his parents walking towards Marine One together.
The entire Bush family is deeply grateful for 41’s life and love, for the compassion of those who have cared and prayed for Dad, and for the condolences of our friends and fellow citizens.”
The ailing President’s death comes nearly eight months after his losing his wife, of 73 years, Barbara on April 17. Even after her death, the lifelong Republican remained devoted to his bride, whom he had known since they were teenagers, sitting beside her casket for hours in his wheelchair as mourners paid their respects while she lay in repose one day before her invitation-only funeral.
44th President, Barack Obama was one of Bush’s last visitors, seeing him just three days before he died, was one of the first to pay their respects. Upon learning the news on Friday night, Obama released a touching statement,
“America has lost a patriot and a humble servant in George Herbert Walker Bush. While our hearts are heavy today, they are also filled with gratitude.
Not merely for the years he spent as our forty-first President, but for the more than 70 years he spent in devoted service to the country he loved — from a decorated Naval aviator who nearly gave his life in World War II, to Commander-in-Chief of our Armed Formes, with plenty of posts along the way. Ambassador to the United Nations. Director of Central Intelligence. U.S. Envoy to China. Vice President of the United States.
George H.W. Bush’s life is a testament to the notion that public service is a noble, joyous calling. And he did tremendous good along the journey. Expanding America’s promise to new immigrants and people with disabilities.
Reducing the scourge of nuclear weapons and building a broad international coalition to expel a dictator from Kuwait. And when democratic revolutions bloomed across Eastern Europe, it was his steady, diplomatic hand that made possible an achievement once thought anything but — ending the Cold War without firing a shot.
It’s a legacy of service that may never be matched, even though he’d want all of us to try.
After seventy-three years of marriage, George and Barbara Bush are together again now, two points of light that never dimmed, two points of light that ignited countless others with their example — the example of a man who, even after commanding the world’s mightiest military, once said, “I got more of a kick out of being one of the founders of the YMCA in Midland, Texas back in 1952 than almost anything I’ve done.”
What a testament to the qualities that make this country great. Service to others. Commitment to leaving behind something better. Sacrifice in the name of lifting this country closer to its founding ideals,” Obama finished. “Our thoughts are with the entire Bush family tonight — and all who were inspired by George and Barbara’s example.
An Unlikely friend pays tribute
When Dana Carvey was on SNL in the early 1990’s, he became known for several different characters – The Church Lady, Hanz of “Hanz and Franz.”
But Carvey may be known best for his spot on impression of George H.W. Bush. The President even invited him to do his schtick after losing to Bill Clinton in the 1992 election.
The comedian paid a heartfelt tribute earlier this year on Conan O’Brien’s show after Barbara Bush passed, saying that he enjoyed “many warm moments” with the first couple.
“They welcomed my wife and I to the White House,” Carvey said. “And we really hung out with them, we really got to know them.”
Carvey added of George and Barbara Bush that he’d “never really seen a marriage that was that effortless,” while sharing that he and Bush did a lot of charity events together and kept in touch via phone and handwritten notes.
“We had so many warm moments with them,” he said. “It was a different time. It wasn’t scorched-earth, angry politics.”
It is hard to imagine President Trump inviting Alec Baldwin, who does a spot on impression, to the White House for dinner.
After leaving the White House, Bush’s service to the country continued as he often worked with former president Bill Clinton on several large charity efforts, most notably on the ground in Haiti while creating the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund to aid victims of the 2010 earthquake.
Wednesday has been named a “National Day of Mourning” for the President.
CAVU, President Bush.