WASHINGTON - The nation says goodbye to its 41st president in an emotional state funeral in Washington Wednesday paying honor and respect to the life of George Herbert Walker Bush.

“A great and noble man, the best father a son or daughter can have,” said a tearful former President George W. Bush, the late president’s son.

National and international dignitaries, family and friends said goodbye to the man who served his country in the U.S. Navy during World War II; later as a Congressman, director of the Central Intelligence Agency, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Vice President, and ultimately President among other top political and diplomatic positions

“His epitaph perhaps just a single letter, the letter “L” for loyalty,” said Bush’s close friend and former Wyoming Senator Alan Simpson. “It coursed through his blood.”

The late president’s son, former president George W. Bush delivered perhaps the most touching eulogy, calling him an empathetic and optimistic man.

“He valued character over pedigree and he was no cynic,” Bush said. “He looked for the good in each person, and he usually found it.”

Each living former U.S. President attended the state funeral. President Donald Trump also attended, a request George H.W. Bush made to keep the traditional protocol despite tensions between the two families.

“There were always more missions to take, more lives to touch, more love to give,” said presidential historian and author Jon Meacham, who also eulogized the man many came to know as “Bush 41” after his son took office.

The funeral follows a 36-hour public viewing inside the U.S. Capitol rotunda where 57-thousand people paid their respects, according to reports.

Bush is now just the 12th U.S. President to lie in state.

From Washington, Bush will be taken back to Texas where he will be buried during a private ceremony on Thursday. Meanwhile, the U.S. Flag will remain at half-staff on all public buildings until 30 days from Bush’s death.

Bush passed away on Friday at age 94.