The College Station and Aggie community remember George H.W. Bush one year after his death by taking a look at his legacy.
To commemorate and celebrate his life, the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum is holding free admission Saturday, Nov. 30 to all of those who wish to attend. President Bush, the 41st President of the U.S., passed away last year on Nov. 30 at his home in Houston. After lying in state in the U.S. Capitol and receiving a state funeral, Bush was transported to College Station, where he was buried next to his wife, Barbara, and daughter, Robin.
David Anaya, director of marketing and communications at the Presidential Library and Museum, said Bush operated differently than most politicians do today.
“He worked a lot with Democrats,” Anaya said. “He passed the American for Disabilities Act, something that caused controversy among Republicans, but was bipartisan. … The Clean Air Act is another bipartisan bill he passed. He was able to work together and bring both sides together.”
To learn more about the life of Bush, Anaya said the museum’s displays allow visitors to experience the life and legacy of Bush, from beginning to end.
“The library is biographical, starting off with photos and interactive media featuring his parents and him as a child,” Anaya said. “It goes through his adolescence, joining the military, getting married, time in the oil business, the CIA, vice presidency, presidency and post-presidency.”
Anaya said the museum features replicas and memorabilia that highlight some of the memories of the Bush administration and gives visitors a cohesive view of his service.
“One of the most popular features include the replica Oval Office,” Anaya said. “When you walk into it, it looks the exact way the office looked when Bush was president, down to the photos on the desk. We also have a piece of the Berlin Wall, we have a replica Situation Room. There’s just a lot to it to learn about his life and presidency.”
Those who come to view the museum are encouraged to learn about how Bush’s presidency has left a lasting impression on the U.S. Anaya said visitors should see the life of a human, not that of a president separated from one part of the country by party lines.
“You hear things today about keeping the air clean, things like that, well Bush did it,” Anaya said of Bush signing the Clean Air Act into law. “I think that people coming [into the museum] won’t see a Republican president, they will see a leader, someone who tried to do the right thing all the time regardless of party lines.”
With a presidential library in College Station, Anaya said it is extremely important for the museum to provide a means for people who want to celebrate the life of Bush to be able to do just that.
“There’s only 13 presidential libraries… so we’re really honored to be in the Brazos Valley,” Anaya said. “We just hope we can do the best we can to be a good partner in the community and promote the legacy of President Bush.”