Added former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney: "I believe it will be said that no occupant of the Oval Office was more courageous, more principled and more honorable than George Herbert Walker Bush". "He's a amusing man", she said.
After Thursday's private services, the former president will be taken by a train, pulled by an engine commissioned in his honor, 120 kilometers north to the city of College Station for burial at his presidential library on the grounds of Texas A&M University.
Bush tapped the casket twice when he walked up to deliver a rousing eulogy, fighting through tears as he sang the praises of his father and predecessor as commander-in-chief, who died Friday at age 94.
Three former presidents looked on at Washington National Cathedral as a fourth - George W. Bush - eulogized his dad. He took comfort in knowing "Dad is hugging Robin and holding Mom's hand again".
Former Sen. Bob Dole salutes the flag-draped casket containing the remains of former President George H.W. Bush as he lies in state at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Dec. 4, 2018.
Bush, the 41st United States president, occupied the White House from 1989 to 1993, navigating the collapse of the Soviet Union and expelling former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's forces from oil-rich Kuwait.
Trump, the day before, spent 20 minutes visiting Bush family members, who were staying at Blair House, across the street from the White House.
Bush then continued down the row, shaking hands with former president Bill Clinton, former First Lady Hillary Clinton, former president Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn.
The elder Bush was "the last great-soldier statesman", historian Jon Meacham said in his eulogy, "our shield" in unsafe times.
But his greetings stopped there, and the body language turned cold as he failed to acknowledge Hillary Clinton, his defeated Democratic rival in 2016.
The hearse carrying the body of former US President George H.W. Bush drives past the White House on December 5, 2018.
Waiting for his arrival inside, Trump shook hands with Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama, who greeted him by saying "Good morning".
The flag-draped casket of former president George H.W. Bush is carried by a joint services military honor guard, December 5, 2018, at Ellington Field in Houston, Texas.
Clinton stared straight ahead and the two made no eye contact. In the second row are Vice President Mike Pence, and his wife Karen Pence, former Vice President Dan Quayle, and his wife Marilyn Quayle and former Vice President Dick Cheney and his wife Lynn Cheney, former Vice President Joe Biden and his wife Jill Biden.
Trump tweeted Wednesday that the day marked "a celebration for a great man who has led a long and distinguished life".
"When the history books are written, they will say that George HW Bush was a great president of the United States".
Trump ordered the federal government closed Wednesday for a national day of mourning.
A divided Washington led by the nation's five living presidents put on a show of unity yesterday at the poignant state funeral of George HW Bush, as America bade farewell to its 41st president.
Around the clock in the Rotunda over two days, thousands - many who had lined up in near-freezing temperatures for hours to enter the Capitol - paid their final respects to Bush, whose flag-draped coffin rested on the wooden catafalque built in 1865 for the casket of assassinated President Abraham Lincoln.