remembering barbara bush
On the front steps of the Houston Public Library, the first chapter of Barbara Bush's legacy is carefully being crafted.
It is here that Houstonians can leave flowers and mementos after her passing. It is here also that a plaza in her honor will be fully realized.
"This plaza will be named the Barbara Bush Literacy Plaza," said Licia Green-Ellis, of the Houston Library Foundation. "Just over a year and a half ago, we met with Mrs. Bush and asked if we can honor her in this fashion, and very humbly she said, 'Yes.'"
Just across the street at city hall, where flags are already at half-staff, a celebration of Bush's life will take place at 6 p.m. on Thursday at Hermann Square. Among those scheduled to perform include the Houston Children's Choir, who are a favorite of the Bush family.
The celebration will include remarks by founding pastor of Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church Rev. William Lawson, Samuel Karff, Rabbi Emeritus, Congregation Beth Israel, and Joseph Fiorenza, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston.
"We love that couple, and every time the kids sang, she gets in the middle of the kids so she wants her pictures taken with the kids. So it's always cute," recalls Stephen Roddy, of the Houston Children's Choir.
According to Roddy, the choir has performed for the Bushes 32 times in its 29-year history, each time a thrill.
"It was just so much fun to be with them because they're so normal," says Roddy.
Program plans include prayers and poetry, all part of an hour-long celebration designed to capture her spirit.
"She was Texas tough, charming and tough all at the same time," said Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner. "A fierce defender of family, family values, candor. Very straight forward."
Turner added that Bush was more than the matriarch of her presidential family. She was also the matriarch of the city of Houston.
Organizers urge anyone planning to attend the remembrance event in front of city hall to arrive early. Attendees are also being reminded to wear blue and, for women, a string of pearls as a nod to Mrs. Bush's trademark fashion accessory.
A private service will be held at St. Martin's Church on Saturday.