Honoring President George H.W. Bush
Last night, the daughter of President George H.W. Bush joined her Cathedral family to dedicate a needlepoint kneeler dedicated to the nation's 41st president.
Doro Bush Koch, the daughter of George and Barbara Bush, is an active member of the Cathedral Congregation and a member of the Cathedral Chapter, or governing board.
Canon Historian (and Bush biographer) Jon Meacham delivered the homily during the service of Choral Evensong. Jon was also one of the principal eulogists for the former president when the Cathedral hosted his funeral in 2018.
Jon quoted the prayer that Bush himself used at his 1989 inauguration, and called it a challenge for America is 2023. Later, the president hand-wrote a copy of the prayer and sent it to the Cathedral for its permanent archive. In Jon’s words:
“It’s a reminder of the ends to which we, you and I, must labor — as we seek to tell the truth, to not blame people, to be strong, to do our best, to forgive, to try hard, to stay the course.”
There’s more info about the kneeler from the archives of Cathedral Age magazine:
The needlepoint kneeler, researched and designed by Catherine Kapikian of Rockville, Md., and hand-stitched by Nancy Hussey of Atlanta, Ga., depicts scenes from the life of the country’s 41st president, including the Texas flag; his downed “Avenger” fighterplane during WorldWarII; the family estate in Kennebunkport, Maine; and his global travels as a diplomat, CIA director and envoy to China. Other imagery references Bush’s devotion to volunteerism through the Points ofLight Foundation; first lady Barbara Bush and a service dog, along with “CAVU,” a nod to Bush’s personal motto of “Ceiling and Visibility Unlimited” that harkened back to his service as a Navypilot. A parachute is subtly incorporated in the presidential seal because the former president went skydiving to celebrate milestone birthdays, including his 90th, in 2014.
The kneeler will join the Cathedral’s collection in St. John’s Chapel. The 200+ hand-stitched kneelers honor notable American scientists, explorers, military leaders, writers, politicians and inventors. Each president is memorialized with a kneeler, now including the 41st.