The funeral service of former First Lady Barbara Bush was held on Saturday at an Episcopal church in Houston, Texas. The event was attended by former presidents George H. W. Bush (Barbara’s husband; 41), Bill Clinton (42), George W. Bush (Barbara’s son; 43), and Barack Obama (44).
While President Trump did not attend, First Lady Melania attended on his behalf to represent the administration.
George H. W. Bush honored his wife by wearing a memento which went largely unnoticed by media outlets covering the service – that is, his dress socks.
The socks were decorated with books, as Washington Examiner reports, to honor the 41st First Lady’s dedication to boosting family literacy.
Check it out:
The socks worn by the 41st President of the United States of America at today’s funeral for former First Lady Barbara Bush. pic.twitter.com/12libHt1Jv
— Jim McGrath (@jgm41) April 21, 2018
Here’s more, per Washington Examiner:
Bush spent a majority of her public life working to improve U.S. literacy rates with her organization, the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy.
The Bush matriarch passed away on Tuesday after battling chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and congestive heart failure. The 92-year-old was married to former President George H.W. Bush for 73 years.
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“To honor his wife of 73 years and her commitment to family literacy, for which she raised over $110 million over the course of over 30 years, @GeorgeHWBush will be wearing a pair of socks festooned with books at today’s funeral service for former First Lady Barbara Bush,” family spokesman Jim McGrath said in a tweet.
To honor his wife of 73 years and her commitment to family literacy, for which she raised over $110 million over the course of over 30 years, @GeorgeHWBush will be wearing a pair of socks festooned with books at today’s funeral service for former First Lady Barbara Bush.
— Jim McGrath (@jgm41) April 21, 2018
People who responded to McGrath’s tweet loved the memento:
A true love story, RIP Barbara
— Michele M D Gould (@3701MDK) April 21, 2018
Why do you have to make me tear up? RIP Barbara Bush 🙏 😢
— Alex Is Noyola (@noyolaphotos) April 21, 2018
A tribute from him to her🙏
— Carolyn D Dalton (@Cdalton4Dalton) April 21, 2018
Okay, that’s absolutely adorable. 😰 📚
— Maureen (woman in parenthesis) 💙🌴🌎 (@MLGinFLA) April 21, 2018
I saw that his socks had colors but TV coverage did not show them close enough to make out what it was. Thanks.
— No Surrender (@BLACKJACKLUVR) April 21, 2018
What an awesome tribute to his wife! 😊👍👍📚💕💖
— Robyn Harms (@rockinrobyn59) April 21, 2018
”The American Dream is about equal opportunity for everyone who works hard. If we don’t give everyone the ability to simply read and write, then we aren’t giving everyone an equal chance to succeed,” Barbara Bush famously said.
Here’s more on her book literacy legacy, per the Barbara Bush Foundation:
A beloved First Lady, proud mother of six children and accomplished author, Barbara Bush believed that every American should have the chance to learn to read and write.
She launched the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy in 1989, with the express purpose of providing access to educational opportunities for young children and their parents.
Today, millions of people across all 50 states have benefited from the Foundation’s family literacy programs. And in the years to come, we will honor her legacy by helping Americans of all ages improve their literacy skills—and their futures.
As WGNTV reports, Bush thought literacy could cure other societal problems:
On a hot summer day in 1978, as her husband mulled his first presidential run, Barbara Bush headed to Houston’s leafy Memorial Park for a jog while she thought about what issues she’d like to focus on should she become first lady.
Bush was concerned about stubborn societal problems like crime, the homeless, drugs and hunger. But as she ran, the then-53-year-old came to the realization that teaching more people to read could help decrease the other major problems, which can grow out of lack of literacy and educational opportunity.
“After much thought, I realized everything I worried about would be better if more people could read, write and comprehend,” Bush wrote in her 1994 autobiography, “Barbara Bush: A Memoir.”
It would be another decade before Bush became first lady, but, in the interval, she was active in literacy programs. In March 1989, mere weeks into her husband’s presidency, she founded the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy.