By J. Manuel Rivera Cortes
“The man served his country for over 40 years. He wasn’t the best president, but he served our country well,” said sophomore Orlando Green, a sociology major, regarding the passing of President George Herbert Walker Bush. On Nov. 30, 2018, the 41st president of the United States passed away at the age of 94, but his legacy still lives on.
The patriarch of his family, Bush dedicated over 40 years of his life to public service. He stepped into the political field when he ran for U.S. Senate in 1964. Narrowly defeated by Democrat Ralph Yarborough, he went on to serve as U.S. ambassador to China as well as director of the CIA before being elected President in 1988. He was the first Vice President in 152 years to be elected president. “Freedom is at the very heart of the idea that is America. Giving life to the idea depends on every one of us,” Bush said in his 1990 State of the Union Address.
During operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, Bush deployed U.S. forces into Saudi Arabia to help expel Iraqi troops from Kuwait during the start of the Gulf War.
Joye Decker, a junior in an adult degree program student said, “I remember the Gulf war on television when I was a kid. It’s a black eye in our history.”
Bush’s death surprised many Lehman students who were familiar with both his administration and his influence on today’s political landscape. “When I heard the news, I was shocked. It wasn’t that long [ago] that Barbara had died,” said Lehman junior, Joanna Rosario.
Others viewed his passing as a blessing for Bush since he suffered many ailments in his advanced age. After the death of his wife, he suffered a blood infection that led to sepsis.
“He’s finally at rest,” said CUNY Office Assistant, Crystal Jackson. “He seemed so fragile after his wife died.”