Jenna Bush Hager Reflects on Her Dad's 'Game' of Presidential Train Ride

In 2018, the nation and the world bid farewell to former President George H.W. Bush. His extended family traveled down to Texas for the funeral services.

According to The Today Show correspondent Jenna Bush Hager, her dad made a game out of the ride to the burial grounds to help cheer up the family. The Bush family rode by train to College Station following the funeral services at St. Martin's Episcopal Church in Houston. The former president's remains were taken to the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum at Texas A&M University to his final resting place next to his wife, Barbara and his daughter Robin.

This was the first funeral train to take place in 49 years for a state funeral. The tradition was started way back during President Abraham Lincoln's days. Bush Hager explained to People the game that her father (former President George W. Bush) played on the train ride.

"There were thousands of people that lined the streets. We had this hilarious time with my dad, where he'd be like, 'Okay, let's see if we can get the guy in the black shirt to wave.' We played this game, and it filled us up with such hope, and I think, you know, not everybody gets to have — they lose their grandparents or people they love, and they're not celebrated. And he was celebrated."

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People surrounded the funeral train for the send-off, showing support for the beloved family of the former 41st President of the United States. 37-year-old Bush Hagar reflected on the experience and the attention it received from the American people when she returned to The Today Show.

"And I just thought about other people that lost people they loved this season, right before Christmas, who don't get this, and then life goes on. But for us, we felt it. He would have been embarrassed, I think, by how public it was, and by how much we talked about him."

This article was originally published in December of 2018.

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