First Lady of the United States Melania Trump flew to Houston to pay her respects to Barbara Bush as the former first lady was laid to rest on Saturday, April 21 in a beautiful funeral ceremony surrounded by those who loved and respected her. Melania went to the funeral service solo without her husband, President Donald Trump, and she was one of the members of other political families who also attended the funeral, including the Clintons and the Obamas.
"First Lady Melania Trump will attend the memorial service for Barbara Bush this Saturday on behalf of the First Family. To avoid disruptions due to added security, and out of respect for the Bush Family and friends attending the service, President Trump will not attend," the White House said in a statement obtained by CNN.
Trump tweeted his condolences to the Bush family, and he also announced that they will be placing a remembrance plaque along with flowers underneath the portrait of Barbara in the White House, and Melania shared a photo of the display on Instagram. "What a beautiful tribute to a wonderful woman who lived for God, family, and country," she wrote in her caption.
At around 11 a.m., nearly 1,500 guests gathered at the St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Houston to pay their respects and three eulogies were read in Barbara's memory. One was read by Barbara's husband George H. W. Bush's biographer Jon Meacham, the second was read by Susan Baker, Barbara's best friend and the wife of former secretary of state James Baker. Barbara's son Jeb Bush read a third eulogy on behalf of the Bush family.
"She was our teacher and role model on how to live a life of purpose and meaning," Jeb said in his tribute, according to the Washington Post, and he highlighted his mother's humor, her authenticity, and strong will in his speech. "She called her style a benevolent dictatorship, but honestly it wasn't always benevolent," he said, which made the guests laugh.