Family, friends remember late president at Washington funeral

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WASHINGTON (WABI) - A salute to a statesman, war hero, and commander-in-chief.

From lying in state in the U.S. Capitol to a grand ceremony at the Washington National Cathedral -- top dignitaries and the family of President George H.W. Bush said farewell to a friend Wednesday.

"There were always more missions to undertake, more lives to touch, and more love to give," said presidential historian Jon Meacham during the funeral service.

On a clear, crisp day in the nation's capital, the state funeral featured full military honor guard, music and prayers.

Friends and family spoke of Bush's passion for public service and people. His son, a former president himself, says the loss of his father leaves family and country in sadness, but is also cause to celebrate the man so many loved.

"[He was] a great and noble man -- the best father a son or daughter could have," said President George W. Bush, as he held back tears.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) isn't related to the Bushes, but he felt a closeness to the family, mentors -- political and personal -- filled with true humility and kindness.

"As we honor and celebrate an incredible life of service for Texas and for our country, at the same time, we remember the class and decency and civility," said Cruz.

The final public tribute to President Bush will be a service in Houston Thursday, before he's buried at his presidential library in College Station.