Americans were devastated on Tuesday when former first lady and presidential mother Barbara Bush died in Texas at the age of 92. Her funeral will be held at St. Martin’s Church in Houston, Texas. According to her wishes, it will be a very simple service. The burial ceremony will be private.
Tradition dictates that sitting First Ladies attend the funerals of former First Ladies, but current presidents have been known to sit out funerals of former presidential wives. When Nancy Reagan passed away in 2016, Barack Obama skipped out on her California funeral to attend a Democratic fundraiser, but his wife Michelle attended. Likewise, then-first lady Hillary Clinton attended the burial of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis in 1994.
Still, many were wondering whether Melania Trump would attend Barbara Bush’s funeral as the two families have had their fair share of differences in the past. The Bushes are close friends of the Clintons, and during the 2016 presidential election, Barbara Bush said that she couldn’t see how “women can vote for someone” like Trump after his remarks about former Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly.
However, this is not the time for partisan politics. While speaking at a news conference on Wednesday, President Donald Trump offered his condolences to former President George H. W. Bush, saying, “Melania and I send our prayers to Barbara’s husband of 73 years — I’ll never beat that record.”
President Trump called Barbara Bush a “wonderful, wonderful person” and “a titan in American life” in his heartfelt message after her passing. Speaking at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, he said, “Her strength and toughness really embodied the spirit of our country. She was a woman of proud patriotism and profound faith.”
For her part, Melania Trump has also made the decision to set aside party politics in order to attend Barbara Bush’s funeral in Texas on Saturday. “Mrs. Trump plans to pay her respects at the funeral on Saturday,” her communications director Stephanie Grisham told CNN.
Grisham echoed the same sentiments in a statement to Daily Mail, saying, “Mrs. Trump intends to pay her respects to Barbara Bush and the entire family at the funeral on Saturday.” Melania plans to return to Washington, D.C. the same day following her attendance at the funeral service.
First Lady Melania Trump is going out of her way to pay her respects to the late Barbara Bush. It demonstrates what a true class act she is. The Bushes and Trumps may have a long history of family feuds, but Melania knows that this is no time for political grandstanding. Rather, it is time to set aside our differences and honor the life of an inspiring woman who left her mark on the world in a very tangible way as the wife of one U.S. president and the mother of another.