PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Across the U.S., flags are flying at half staff in remembrance of former President George H.W. Bush, who passed away Friday at the age of 94.
Oregon Senator Ron Wyden served in the House of Representatives when George H.W. Bush was president.
Wyden was just starting his career at the time as one of the youngest members of the House. He remembers the late president — who campaigned in Oregon in the 1980s — as a man who treated political opponents with respect.
“George H.W. Bush had a core decency and a core civility that reminds me a lot of the Oregonians I’ll see this morning at our town meetings,” said Sen. Wyden. “We can have differences of opinion but that civility and decency always won over.”
Kevin Hoar, communications director and spokesman for the Republican Party, remembers Bush Senior as the right president for the time.
“Not that George H.W. Bush shied from a fight, but he also found ways to do what was right for the country and that’s really important because we can have our disagreements, but then we also need to find ways to move forward together.”
The late president was the youngest fighter pilot in World War II for the Navy and led the country from the Oval Office as the Cold War was drawing to a close.
Hoar and Wyden both praised H.W. Bush for how he helped guide the final days of the reunification of Germany and the fall of the Berlin Wall.
“He was being pushed to go out and claim a huge victory in the Cold War, but George H.W. Bush realized that if he were to do that, that would embolden the hard-liners in the KGB,” said Sen. Wyden. “He managed it in a very thoughtful way and my dad who wrote a book about the Berlin Wall appreciated it and so did I.”
Hoar said, “He brought the entire free world and the emerging world from the Far East, the block of communist countries to ta soft landing.”