While Senator John McCain was dying this year, he made clear that he did not want Mr. Trump even to attend his service at the National Cathedral. Instead, he invited the two men who defeated him in his bids for the White House, the younger Mr. Bush and former President Barack Obama, to give eulogies.
Their tributes to Mr. McCain in September were seen as implicit rebukes of Mr. Trump. The senator’s daughter, Meghan McCain, was even less elliptical in using her own eulogy to contrast her father with the president. “The America of John McCain has no need to be made great again because America was always great,” she said to applause.
It would not be like Mr. Bush to want his funeral to be a spectacle, and he evidently chose not to defy protocol by asking Mr. Trump to keep away. While other presidents have at times skipped funerals for predecessors — Richard M. Nixon did not attend services for Harry S. Truman, with whom he had a difficult relationship — in recent decades it has been the norm.
Even Mr. Nixon personally asked President Bill Clinton to deliver the eulogy at his service even though Mrs. Clinton, the first lady, had served on the House Judiciary Committee staff as it pursued impeachment during the Watergate investigation that led to his resignation. Mr. Clinton was generous in his testimonial. “May the day of judging President Nixon on anything less than his entire life and career come to a close,” he said in what was seen as closure over Watergate.
Mr. Bush’s coffin was being flown on Monday to Joint Base Andrews outside Washington and will be taken to the United States Capitol, where he served four years as a member of the House in the 1960s. Congressional leaders plan a ceremony in the Capitol and he will then lie in state there until Wednesday morning before being brought to the cathedral.
After the service there, Mr. Bush’s body will be flown back to Houston for a service at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church, where he was a longtime member. Former Secretary of State James A. Baker III, the president’s longtime friend, will speak at the church.
The former president will then be taken by a special train named Locomotive 4141 and painted the same blue shade used on Air Force One to College Station, Tex., an echo of the funeral trains used for presidents like Abraham Lincoln, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Mr. Bush will be interred on the grounds of the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum at Texas A&M University, laid to rest next to Barbara Bush, his wife of 73 years, who died in April, and Robin Bush, their daughter who died of leukemia in 1953 at age 3.