Former President George H.W. Bush speaks at a 2000 NACDS Board of Directors meeting in New Orleans, held during what was then called the NACDS Marketplace Conference. Pictured with President Bush is Mark Griffin, president and CEO of Lewis Drug, who was then – and who remains – a member of the NACDS Board of Directors.

This week, NACDS joined with the nation in reflecting on the life and leadership of President George H.W. Bush.

NACDS has had a wonderful relationship with President Bush and his family for many years. They have always answered our calls, and they have honored the NACDS membership with their warmth and presence. President George H.W. Bush and Barbara; President George W. Bush and Laura; Jeb Bush; and Jenna and Barbara Pierce Bush all have shown us amazing kindness and generosity with their attendance at NACDS and NACDS Foundation events. Our members will long remember that Jeb, Jenna, and Barbara spoke at the 2018 Annual Meeting just days after their mother and grandmother was laid to rest.

On Tuesday evening, I paid my respects to President Bush in the Capitol Rotunda. I am so glad I went. It was amazing standing in line for two hours and just observing the thousands of people who were waiting with me: a true cross-section of Americans and some from other countries. When I came out of the Capitol the night was brighter because of the flood lights and the TV crews, lighting up the silhouettes of thousands of people waiting to go in. Although I have been in the Capitol Building countless times over the many years, I was so heartened by all that I observed and my sense that the others felt the same way.

I was struck by the sense that the remainder of the week should be days of mourning yet celebration, and by all accounts that is what we have experienced.

Former First Lady Barbara Bush spoke during the 2001 NACDS Annual Meeting.

Former President George W. Bush delivered the keynote speech at the 2012 NACDS Annual Meeting.

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush spoke during an event at the 2018 NACDS Annual Meeting.

Former First Lady Laura Bush served as the keynote speaker at the 11th Annual NACDS Foundation Dinner in 2009.

Jenna Bush Hager, a contributing editor on The Today Show, spoke during the 2018 NACDS Annual Meeting.

Barbara Pierce Bush, CEO of Global Health Corps, delivered remarks during the 2018 NACDS Annual Meeting.