Our memories of the late President George H.W. Bush
By Chris Isleib
Director of Public Affairs, United States World War One Centennial Commission
We, at the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission, are truly saddened by the loss of former President George H. W. Bush. In addition to his many well-known accolades and achievements, he also served as an Honorary Commission Chair for our organization.
His ties to WWI were strong.
President Bush’s father, Prescott Bush, served as a U.S. Army field artillery officer during the war. The war broke out while Prescott Bush was a student college at Yale University. Upon graduation, he accepted an officer's commission, and served as a field artillery captain with the Connecticut National Guard. He also received intelligence training at Verdun, France, and was briefly assigned to a staff of French officers. Alternating between intelligence and artillery, he participated in the Meuse-Argonne offensive.
President Bush’s grandfather, Samuel Bush, also contributed to the war effort, as a senior government official working with wartime weapons contracts. In the spring of 1918, famous banker Bernard Baruch was asked to reorganize the War Industries Board as the U.S. prepared to enter World War I. He placed several prominent businessmen to key posts. Samuel Bush became chief of the Ordnance, Small Arms, and Ammunition Section, with national responsibility for government assistance to and relations with munitions companies.
WW1CC's Executive Director Daniel Dayton remembered President Bush's reaction to being asked to help the Centennial Commission. "We did some research beforehand, and found an image of his father, Prescott Bush's, draft card. When we asked President Bush to be an honorary chair, and he was presented with Prescott Bush's draft card, he said he would do it for his father."
We stand with the country in honoring President Bush, and offering condolences to his loved ones.