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President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump made an unannounced visit to the Capitol Rotunda Monday evening to pay their respects to President George H.W. Bush, who is lying in state there after passing away on Friday.

All USPS facilities will also fly a flag at half-staff through December 30 in honor of Bush.

National flags flew at half-staff on many foreign diplomatic buildings on Washington's "Embassy Row", past which Bush's coffin will be transported on its way to the Washington National Cathedral for a memorial service on Wednesday. At the casket's side, the aide lifted Dole, 95, into a standing position. They exited the rotunda with little fanfare. Bush himself seemed to be holding back tears.

"President Bush worked selflessly throughout his long life to bring about a world of justice and lasting peace", he wrote.

Trump will meet the Bush family privately at the Blair House, the president's guest house, CNN reported.

Bush served two terms as vice president under Republican President Ronald Reagan before his own stint in the Oval Office from 1989 to 1993, a time that saw the end of the Cold War as well as the United States routing of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's army in the 1991 Gulf War.

The pup traveled to Washington with the funeral retinue.

"When the rule of law needed defending in the Persian Gulf, he kept us on course", said Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell.

"He kept us flying high and challenged us to fly higher still".

In Houston, relatives including his presidential son stood with hands on their hearts as the casket was carried to the aircraft.

In a statement on Saturday, Trump again referenced the Bush's "thousand points of light" speech and said the former president "inspired generations of his fellow Americans to public service".

Both men lost to former President Ronald Reagan in 1980, but Bush went on to be Reagan's vice president before winning the GOP nomination and ultimately the presidency in 1988.

Soon after he reached the height of his political popularity following the liberation of Kuwait, with public approval ratings that are the envy of today's politicians, the US economy began to sour and voters began to believe that Bush, never a great communicator - something even he acknowledged - was out of touch with ordinary people.

"The fact that he could cross party lines, and did that so gracefully, especially after his presidency, to me is really inspiring and a lesson that our current administration can learn from", Frinzell, 56, told AFP.

Wednesday has been designated by President Trump as a national day of mourning, and most federal agencies will be closed with federal workers given the day off.

He failed to win a second term after breaking a no-new-taxes pledge, losing to Democrat Bill Clinton.

Former Canadian prime minister Brian Mulroney said he would deliver one of several eulogies, at Bush's request. President Bush will be laid to rest Thursday at his presidential library on the Texas A&M University campus, where his wife Barbara and their daughter Robin are also buried.

He also presided over the end of the Cold War between the United States and the former Soviet Union.

But despite Bush's record approval ratings after "Desert Storm", he disappointed Americans on the domestic front.

But he was dogged by domestic problems, including a sluggish economy.

"He was so qualified, and I think he was just a decent man", said Sharon Terry, touring Washington with friends from an Indianapolis garden club.