Miami Valley residents say their final goodbyes to former President George H.W. Bush


    MIAMI VALLEY, Ohio (WKEF/WRGT) - Millions across the country watched the emotional services for former President George H.W. Bush from our nation's capital on Wednesday, and local organizations added to the honors here at home.

    ABC 22/FOX 45 visited Baker Hazel and Snider Funeral Home on Philadelphia Avenue where people said their final goodbyes.

    For the last few days, people have been taking the time to say their goodbyes, with dozens writing personal messages and reflecting on the man George H.W. Bush was.

    "I really like how he treated Bill Clinton when he took office and winning the election," Barbette Spitler said. "He's just classy, and I want to be classy honoring that."

    Bush made several stops in the Miami Valley while he was vice president, and also while campaigning for presidency.

    Bush's father was born in Columbus, Ohio, and his wife Barbara has several ties to the Miami Valley, including that her parents meet at Miami University.

    "It was a long long time ago when they came to Dayton," Spitler said. "It was my first experience going through a metal detector. I took my kids out of school to see. Who wouldn’t want to do that."

    For 93-year-old World War II Veteran James Mill it was about honoring a fellow brother in arms from the greatest generation.

    "He got shot down I think," Mill said. "He had a man with him if I remember correctly, but he made it. He's one heck of a president."

    Each person has a story for why they came, but local pastor J.D. McMillian said most people just wanted to say thank you and farewell.

    “It's a time for us to unite and surround the Bush family and all of Americans to say thank you for his service,” McMillian said.

    All of the kinds words and messages will be sent to College Station, Texas, where the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library is located. The funeral home did a similar tribute for his wife and first lady Barbara Bush when she passed away eight months earlier.

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