HOUSTON (FOX 26) — Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner will host a public memorial tribute to President George H.W. Bush at 7 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 3 on Hermann Square in front of Houston City Hall on 901 Bagby Street.
The Houston Symphony will be among the performers for the program.
"I invite all Houstonians to join us as we pay tribute to the memory of a great fellow city resident," said Mayor Turner. "May we never forget his service to our country, his call for us to be a light to the world, and his loving spirit."
Throughout Houston, flags and flowers are being put out for the 41st President George H.W. Bush.
"You know it’s not completely surprising, but you still feel it and it still sad because they are such a big Texas family, a big American family, the name, the dynasty," says James Holcombe.
"I am a former Texas A&M student, so the George Bush library is there on campus, so I have very fond memories of getting to go into the museum and learning more about his presidency," says Barrett.
"I used to actually work at The Houstonian Hotel," says Tawmika Proctor. "When he was the President, he would come in and stay. It was kind of like a hideaway retreat on Post Oak, so I got to meet him."
"You know we lost a great man and he did a lot of great things for our country," says Ronald Coleman.
Some close friends of the former President include the owners of Fuzzy’s Pizza. "Fuzzy" himself came to the U.S. from Syria more than thirty years ago and says he’s known the President for around twenty of those. He has even named a pizza after President Bush and the First Lady.
"Sometimes, I talk to myself, I said, 'I can’t believe here I am, the President of United States comes to my restaurant' and I’m so happy,” says Fawaz "Fuzzy" Hajjar.
"I just like that when he came in the door, he was a real person and he shook hands with people," says Rita Hajjar. "He smiled, people would clap when he came in and they said that for him and it didn’t matter who it was, I mean, I’m sure there was Democrats, Republicans. What color, what they were or what religion they were, but they all loved to see them."
Harris County Judge Ed Emmett met the Bush family back in 1978 when the future President and first lady backed him as a local candidate. Since then, he has seen the Bush family numerous times and has even played tennis with President Bush. Judge Emmett wore a pin in the President's honor, featuring the Bush name and the plane he flew during World War II.
"The Bush family extends far beyond just those who aren’t related by blood, you know, people like me who, I wouldn’t be who I am without George and Barbara Bush but beyond people like me again, you get back to the ordinary citizens, residents of Houston and Harris County, the whole country," says Judge Emmett. "The Bushes had this amazing ability they would write notes all the time. I’m forever running into people that say, 'You know? I got a personal note from George H.W. Bush one time.' Those were real.”
Even Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner broke down talking about President George H.W. and Barbara Bush and how they are now reunited in heaven.
"I do want to say, for me, one of the pictures that I can still see in my mind, I remember them when both of them were in the hospital at the same time during the Super Bowl and they said they were going to show up and be a part of the Super Bowl experience and both of them came out of the hospital," says Mayor Turner. "Both of them were out on the fifty-yard line at the Super Bowl game. Barbara Bush was standing right by his side. He was waving and when I looked at them, I said, these two exemplify what it means to be resilient and what it means to be Houston strong. I do want to say on behalf of all of Houston, we want to extend our prayers, our condolences to his family to the entire Bush family and it is an incredible, incredible, incredible family."