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LIVE: Family and friends say final goodbye to President George HW Bush today

George H.W. Bush, who shaped history as 41st president and patriarch of a family that occupied the White House for a dozen years, will be laid to rest Thursday in College Station, alongside wife Barbara and daughter Robin.

Before he is taken to his final resting place, an invite-only funeral service with about 1,200 guests was held at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Houston.

The president’s body was lying in repose at the church from 6 p.m Wednesday until 6 a.m. Thursday. Nearly 12,000 mourners visited the church to pay their respects to the president, whose casket returned to Houston Wednesday afternoon after a state funeral in Washington D.C. that offered high praise for the last of the presidents to have fought in World War II – and a hefty dose of humor about a man once described as a cross between Mister Rogers and John Wayne.

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