"His example will always inspire, and his lifetime of service will be enshrined in the hearts of the American people forever", said Vice President Mike Pence.
A long list of prominent current and former officials gathered inside the rotunda to pay their respects. He is seen lying down in front of President George H.W. Bush's casket, looking forlorn.
Joining George W. Bush as eulogists Wednesday: Alan Simpson, the former senator and acerbic wit from Wyoming, Brian Mulroney, the former Canadian prime minister who also gave a eulogy for Reagan; and presidential historian Jon Meacham. Bush himself seemed to be holding back tears.Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, the Senate Democratic leader, placed wreaths in the short ceremony before the rotunda was to be opened to the public. He will lie in state in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda until Wednesday, when a funeral is planned at the Washington National Cathedral.
With Wednesday designated as a National Day of Mourning for the late former President George H.W. Bush, most federal offices will be closed, the stock markets will be shuttered and the mail will be suspended for the day.
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READY TO PUBLISH - George HW Bush, a life in photos
Following his presidency, the Bushes relocated to Houston , Texas, where they settled down and became active in the community . Iraq, led by Saddam Hussein, invaded Kuwait after accusing it of stealing oil and conspiring to influence oil prices.
Democrats and Republicans remain locked in a standoff over funding for President Donald Trump's border wall that could trigger a partial government shutdown in the coming days and Washington is still reeling from a divisive midterm campaign season where the leaders of both parties were targets and Trump frequently went on the attack on the campaign trail.
"I think it's night and day", said Sheila Murray, 58, from Stevensville, Maryland, who came with her 14-year-old son, Thomas.
Bush's body was flown to Washington, D.C., on Monday. He will be buried alongside Barbara Bush, his wife of 73 years who died in April.
11 a.m. ET - Funeral service at St. Martin's Episcopal Church in Houston.
He insists Bush's passing marks the end of an era.