(CNN) - It will be difficult for leaders, politicians and everyday Americans to honor the full legacy of George Herbert Walker Bush and his impact on the world.
But for the next several days, they will try.
The 41st president and war hero will lie in state at the United States Capitol this week. A memorial service at the National Cathedral in Washington will follow.
Those in his adopted home state of Texas will also have a chance to pay their respects. A funeral will be held at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Houston before he is laid to rest next to his beloved wife Barbara at his presidential library in College Station.
“He was a receptive person. You could go in and tell him anything, good news, bad news. Just wanted to chat, he was always available to you. And his humility demonstrated himself in many different ways,” said Gen. Colin Powell.
The president's health had slowly faded over the past several years – and his family and friends were preparing for this moment.
“He said after Barbara died that he wasn’t ready to go. He used to kid about wanting to live to be 100. But that last day was really a very, very gentle and peaceful passing for him,” said James Baker, Bush’s former secretary of state.
For the former Navy pilot, congressman, CIA director, special envoy, vice president and commander in chief, it will be a remembrance fit for American political royalty.