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As funeral nears, Tester, Daines remember H.W. Bush as man of grace and service

Bush with Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev at Camp David on June 2, 1990. (TheConversation.com)

As the nation remembers the legacy of George H.W. Bush, Montana’s two U.S. senators reflected fondly on the 41st president and World War II veteran, describing him as a man of grace and service.

Sen. Steve Daines on Tuesday said he plans to attend Bush’s funeral Wednesday morning in Washington, D.C.

“If you look at the history of his life, it began as a teenager – as a young 18-year-old and his service in WWII,” Daines told the Missoula Current during a media call. “This was a man who understood service and sacrifice. It was in his blood from the very beginning.”

After graduating from Montana State University, Daines served as a delegate for Ronald Reagan during the 1984 Republican National Convention.

Reagan served two terms followed by Bush, who served just one. Daines described both Reagan and Bush as great leaders who served with grace and dignity.

“He certainly lived a life full of a grace, and a passion for serving those around him,” Daines added. “He will be greatly missed.”

While modern-day Congress is often criticized for its partisan shortcomings, Bush has been remembered as a man of moderation and restraint, and for the courtesy he showed his opponents.

“President Bush was a statesman who lived the meaning of service,” Tester said in a statement released after Bush’s death. “His deeply held values made him a giant at a time where bitterness and division were all too common. We must remember his legacy and commit ourselves to the kindness he hoped for our nation.”