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Federal agencies, Postal Service will close on Wednesday for day of mourning

Photo by Tom Rivers: The flag is lowered today in Albion by the office building at 446 West Ave. for the US Department of Agriculture, Farm Service Agency and Orleans County Soil and Water Conservation District.

Staff Reports Posted 3 December 2018 at 3:08 pm

Federal agencies and the U.S. Postal Service will be closed on Wednesday for a day of mourning for former President George H.W. Bush, who died on Friday at age 94.

President Donald Trump issued the order for an official day of mourning. Trump also ordered the American flag to be lowered to half-staff on all public buildings, military bases and overseas embassies for 30 days.

“President Bush led a great American life, one that combined and personified two of our Nation’s greatest virtues: an entrepreneurial spirit and a commitment to public service. Our country will greatly miss his inspiring example,” Trump said in a statement.

“On the day he turned 18, 6 months after the attack on Pearl Harbor, George H.W. Bush volunteered for combat duty in the Second World War. The youngest aviator in United States naval history at the time, he flew 58 combat missions, including one in which, after taking enemy fire, he parachuted from his burning plane into the Pacific Ocean. After the war, he returned home and started a business. In his words, “the big thing” he learned from this endeavor was “the satisfaction of creating jobs.”

“The same unselfish spirit that motivated his business pursuits later inspired him to resume the public service he began as a young man. First, as a member of Congress, then as Ambassador to the United Nations, Chief of the United States Liaison Office in China, Director of Central Intelligence, Vice President, and finally President of the United States, George H.W. Bush guided our Nation through the Cold War, to its peaceful and victorious end, and into the decades of prosperity that have followed. Through sound judgment, practical wisdom, and steady leadership, President Bush made safer the second half of a tumultuous and dangerous century.

“Even with all he accomplished in service to our Nation, President Bush remained humble. He never believed that government — even when under his own leadership — could be the source of our Nation’s strength or its greatness. America, he rightly told us, is illuminated by “a thousand points of light,” “ethnic, religious, social, business, labor union, neighborhood, regional and other organizations, all of them varied, voluntary and unique” in which Americans serve Americans to build and maintain the greatest Nation on the face of the Earth. President Bush recognized that these communities of people are the true source of America’s strength and vitality.

“It is with great sadness that we mark the passing of one of America’s greatest points of light, the death of President George H.W. Bush.”

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