George H.W. Bush Monument in Sesquicentennial Park
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It was bright and sunny with endless blue skies overhead and the weather in Houston, Texas was one of those days in which it just had to be savored and enjoyed. It was only to reach a high in the lower 70 degrees Fahrenheit and the humidity was low which is a rarity in our fair city.
Cinco de Mayo was being celebrated in many areas all across our city and the Mexican Restaurants were packed with people celebrating that annual date in history. There was also a Polish Festival in town as well as many other choices of things in which we could have enjoyed doing that day.
All thoughts of any projects around the house fled our minds. It was not a day to worry about weeding the garden or washing some windows. Those and other chores could be shelved for a while.
My husband and I decided to head downtown and do some photographing of sites when the streets would not be packed with cars and people such as takes place during the work week every Monday to Friday. Hope you enjoy these images taken from the George H.W. Bush Monument in Sesquicentennial Park in downtown Houston, Texas as much as we did in taking them on this recent Sunday in May.
George H.W. Bush
As many of you know, George Herbert Walker Bush was the 41st President of the United States. He served one term from 1989 to 1993 as President and accomplished many things of substance during that one term of office.
He is much revered in Houston and President Bush and his beloved wife Barbara have participated in many philanthropic causes and continue to do so as health and time permits.
One Thanksgiving when my mother, husband and I went down to the George R. Brown Convention Center and helped dish out food to the homeless and hungry, the former President and Barbara were there with their sleeves rolled up and were spending precious time doing the same thing.
We have personally seen them at other charitable events and we even have a group photo of us standing next to this tall, personable and charitable former president.
True story…! My husband was chairing an event for our local Printing Museum some years ago and President Bush separated himself from the crowd of formally attired attendees to go over and introduce himself to the harpist who was entertaining us for the cocktail portion preceding dinner that evening. He chatted with her a while and told her that he was enjoying her music among other things.
That exemplifies the type of qualities that makes up this thoughtful and caring man!
No matter which end of the political spectrum one follows, qualities like this in a person deserve admiration. From what I have seen and know of him, I am sure he is as comfortable taking to dish washers as well as foreign ministers and heads of state.
The location of the George H.W. Bush Monument is located on a hill within Sesquicentennial Park which was developed in downtown Houston along Buffalo Bayou which runs through the city eventually finding its way to the Gulf of Mexico.
Sesquicentennial means that it celebrates the 150th birthday of the formation of Houston and the first part of the park opened in 1986. Subtract 150 years and you now know that Houston was founded in 1836.
A second portion was completed in 1998 and this beautiful park which has hiking and biking paths, manicured green lawn spaces, tiered concrete seating along Buffalo Bayou and even some waterfalls grace this part of the city in which many of our theaters are located.
While there are not floating barges where people can tour and even dine as in the Riverwalk area of San Antonio, we do have annual events like the Buffalo Bayou Regatta and other festivals.
It is a welcoming green space in the heart of the city!
George H.W. Bush’s work background leading up to becoming our 41st President
George Herbert Walker Bush has had a most illustrious and successful background during his multifaceted career. He was born in 1924 and bears the names of his grandfathers.
Trained as one of the youngest naval aviators in Corpus Christi, Bush was inspired to join the military forces of the United States like so many young and patriotic people did after the attack on Pearl Harbor. He had a brush with death when his airplane was shot down by enemy fire during World War II and was the only one who survived that incident. Fortunately he was rescued from sea.
After marrying his sweetheart Barbara and heading to Texas, he became a successful entrepreneur in the energy business.
George Bush’s entry into politics saw him becoming the chairman of the Harris County Republican Party which led to successive and important jobs…his second being a U.S. Congressman for the 7th congressional district of Texas which is a part of Houston.
He then became an ambassador to the United Nations for 2 years appointed by President Nixon.
Under President Ford he functioned effectively as an ambassador to China prior to there even being an embassy there. This was in the early days of U.S./China relations and Bush did an excellent job of opening up communications between the two countries.
Bush next saw public service as the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. After a hiatus from public service he once again entered the main stage by serving as Vice President under President Ronald Reagan.
Has there ever been a better trained individual leading up to becoming the “leader of the free world?”
George Herbert Walker Bush took the office of President and was inaugurated on January 20, 1989 as our 41st President of the United States.
Artist Chas Fagan
Chas Fagan was selected to create this eight foot tall bronze sculpture of the George H.W. Bush likeness. He did a wonderful rendering of our former President in a relaxed pose with one hand in his pocket.
The statue weighs a whopping 650 pounds! He also created the eagles and in addition there are four bas relief images in bronze set into the low stone circular wall which partially wraps around the the statue as it faces the downtown skyline of Houston.
Each bas relief creation portrays significant times during Bush’s life. On the backside of the stone wall are quotes from the President etched into the limestone.
George Bush quote…
This was etched into stone on the backside of the Bas relief showing the Berlin Wall being dismantled. The artist symbolically portrayed Presidents Bush and Gorbachev appearing to be standing in agreement and shaking hands as they watch from the sidelines.
” UNTIL NOW, THE WORLD WE HAVE KNOWN HAS BEEN A WORLD DIVIDED – A WORLD OF BARBED WIRE, CONCRETE BLOCK, CONFLICT, AND COLD WAR. NOW, WE CAN SEE A NEW WORLD COMING INTO VIEW – A WORLD IN WHICH THERE IS A VERY REAL PROSPECT OF A NEW WORLD ORDER.” 1991
“AMERICA IS NEVER WHOLLY HERSELF UNLESS SHE IS ENGAGED IN HIGH MORAL PRINCIPLE. WE AS A PEOPLE HAVE SUCH A PURPOSE TODAY. IT IS TO MAKE KINDER THE FACE OF THE NATION, AND GENTLER THE FACE OF THE WORLD.” 1989
Another George Bush quote…
“FROM NOW ON IN AMERICA, ANY DEFINITION OF A SUCCESSFUL LIFE MUST INCLUDE SERVICE TO OTHERS.” 1989
He and his wife Barbara strongly believe in this!
I once attended a Ronald McDonald House function where Barbara Bush was the guest speaker. Her speech was about service to others and she included much humor about things in her life as well as the former President’s which kept every person in rapt attention that day amidst intermittent bursts of laughter.
Some of it concerned the antics of their dog Millie. Were you aware that their smart dog wrote a book?
After her talk we were able to form a line and she took the time to speak to each and every person and shake our hands. And for those of you who might want to know…yes, she was wearing her signature pearls around her neck.
My mother and I were thrilled to be able to have this close interaction with the first lady. From there she was headed over to the Children’s Hospital in the Texas Medical Center for another function. I am certain that she brightened many lives that day!
George H.W. Bush Monument
This wonderful monument was dedicated December 2, 2004 and was a gift to the Citizens of Houston. The funding was all privately donated including endowment funding in which to keep the monument in good shape for the future.
Hope you enjoyed this look at this special place in Sesquicentennial Park. The address is 400 Texas Street, Houston, Texas 77204. I plan to show more photos of the park in other posts.