Brian Mulroney, the former prime minister of Canada, will deliver a eulogy at the funeral of former President George H.W. Bush.
The terms of Mulroney and Bush coincided and, as a result, they became close over the years. Mulroney is one of several people who will speak at Bush’s December 5, 2018 state funeral.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Mulroney Was Close Friends With George H.W. Bush
Canada’s prime minister and the former American president were life-long friends, and that’s why he’s been chosen to give a eulogy at the funeral, according to Globe and Mail.
“Every time I think of a line to say about George Bush, I realize I have more to say,” the former prime minister said to Globe and Mail about the eulogy. “But somehow I have to bring this to an end.”
According to Globe and Mail, Mulroney frequently visited George Bush at his Kennebunkport, Maine compound, sometimes to go fishing.
2. Brian Mulroney Spoke at the Funeral of Ronald Reagan Too
This isn’t the first time that Brian Mulroney has spoken at the funeral of a former American president.
He spoke at both Ronald Reagan’s 2004 funeral and at the funeral of former First Lady Nancy Reagan, according to Globe and Mail.
However, Globe and Mail says Mulroney was closer to Bush than Reagan. Mulroney was recently awarded the George Bush Award for Excellence in Public Service. Mulroney spoke to Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau about the eulogy for George Bush.
3. Bush Personally Asked Mulroney to Give a Eulogy at His Funeral
The former president asked Brian Mulroney to give a eulogy at his funeral three years before he died, Politico reports.
“He asked me about three years ago if I would do that, and I said, ‘Yes.’ I’ll be there with a eulogy, along with a few others,” Mulroney told Politico.
He added to the political site, “I can only talk about the George Bush I knew. … The implosion of the Soviet Union was the most epochal event of the 20th century. And the reunification of Germany was also a spectacular event, both of which had to be handled with the utmost skill, delicacy, firmness and knowledge. And George Bush did both of them — provided brilliant leadership on both, without a shot being fired and very peacefully.”
4. Brian Mulroney Remembers the Kindness of George H.W. Bush
Brian Mulroney appreciated George H.W. Bush’s gentlemanly demeanor.
“His kindness was legendary. His politeness with other world leaders, even the smallest countries in the world, was something to behold. George Bush was one of nature’s true gentlemen,” Mulroney told Politico.
5. Mulroney Praises Bush for Signing NAFTA Into Law
A New York Times article from the time reported that Bush would “sign the North American Free Trade Agreement on Dec. 17,” and that President Carlos Salinas de Gortari of Mexico and Mulroney would sign it on the same day.
The agreement would “eliminate trade barriers among Canada, Mexico, and the United States,” the Times reported.
Mulroney praised this decision by Bush, telling Politico Bush’s legacy “with regard to Canada was huge. It would rank with the greatest in modern history. He was the one who made possible two major events in the history of Canada.” He also cited anti acid rain measures.