LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - The local American Legion Post 1 in Lake Charles says George H. W. Bush was an honorable man, both as president and as a human being.
“It was always special to serve under someone like President Bush. You knew that he knew what you were going through,” James Jackson, post commander, said.
As a veteran, he says Bush's survival after being shot down as a pilot and eventually rescued at sea wasn't an accident.
“18 years old; you’re in combat," James said. "And when you go to war and your entire squadron gets shot down and you’re the only one to survive, you know, he was destined. He was one of the best presidents we’ve ever had.”
Jackson says he wasn’t just a great President though, he also says he was a very good man. That’s why he says whenever you see the flag at half-mast this week, it’s to honor his great presidency, as well as his good heart.
“To be a good man you also have to be a strong leader,” Jackson said. “Without the leadership and the strong leadership skills, you can be the best person in the world and be ineffective.”
Jackson says it was the balance Bush held between leadership and kindness that will make him stand out. Ronald Williams with the mayors armed forces commission says 41′s legacy can be a teaching moment for our country.
“I think that this could be a really good time for the nation to step back and reflect back on where we’ve been and where we’re going.” says Williams, “And take his legacy into account. Looking at the funeral, at the cathedral, and you have the three former Presidents and President Trump, all sitting there in the front row. In essence, that what our nation is about or should be about.”