"Never Tire, Never Falter" from President Bush's Farewell Address
30,000 well wishers gave former President and Laura Bush a heroes welcome upon their return to Midland Texas Tuesday, January 20, 2009.
Aboard the Bush PlaneMagnanimous to the End: A pictorial review of the long ride home
a former Bush advisor files his account—and his photos—from aboard the former president’s flight back to Texas.
by Mark McKinnon
The Daily Beast
That’s the word expressed not just by former President Bush, but his staff, as well, on the last flight home aboard on what any other day of the last eight years would have been Air Force One, but today was Special Air Mission 28000.
I can only imagine the blogosphere lighting up with what will be some version of “good riddance.” But while I expected the president’s mood to be defiant, bitter, defensive, or vengeful toward his critics, he was anything but. As he toured the cabin of the airplane throughout the flight, visiting with old friends, family, and staffers, he was filled with equanimity, grace, and a generosity of spirit.
There was a lot of talk of old days and old times. About how eight years had flown by. About how children had grown. There was no high-fiving or celebration. And no weeping or whining. Just a quiet and friendly exchange of hugs between longtime colleagues and friends who had traveled a lot of miles together and weathered a lot storms.
And in the end, we all were simply grateful for the incredible ride.
A last visit to the Oval Office and a message left behind for the incoming President:
"The theme is similar to what he's said since election night about the fabulous new chapter President-elect Obama is about to start, and that he wishes him the very best," former White House press secretary Dana Perino said Tuesday.
Home to a Hero's Welcome!