City of Houston celebrates former First Lady Barbara Bush

On Thursday evening, Houstonians gathered outside Houston City Hall to pay tribute to the legacy of Barbara Bush.

"I get the feeling the former first lady is looking down and smiling at the fact that we have gathered to celebrate her life and legacy," said Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner.

The event highlighted Mrs. Bush's impact on literacy programs including a speech by 11-year-old published author Bailey Moore.

"She’s the reason I became a librarian, I became a teacher," said Elizabeth Sargent, who works as a librarian in Houston. "It was her love of literacy."  

"I just respect her for everything she’s done for our country, for [children]," said Antonio Martinez who learned about the tribute event on Twitter.

The celebration also celebrated diversity, something Mrs. Bush loved about Houston. Her husband, former President George H.W. Bush, was unable to attend but a letter was read aloud on his behalf. 

"If I could, I’d be there with you, but at age 93, I need to save my strength for the days ahead," read Linda Lorelle, the event emcee. "Just know my family and I are with you in spirit."

Former President Bush then went on to thank Houston for giving his wife one of the greatest gifts of all. 

"You gave my Barbara and me one huge gift before we left this good earth -- an Astros World Series victory," read Lorelle as the crowd erupted in laughter.