An emotional Brian Mulroney says he's convinced George H.W. Bush will go down as the most courageous, principled and honourable occupant of the Oval Office the United States has ever known.
Celebrities, including actor-politician Arnold Schwarzenegger, were among the mourners at the church where the Bush family worships.
It was Bush, who sat with other family member at his father's funeral, who appeared to break the solemnity, offering gregarious handshakes to Trump and all of the former presidents and their spouses.
Bush extolled his father, not only for his service as president but also as a role model as a loving husband, father and grandfather.
Bush has been remembered for his public and military service, volunteerism and personal character.
According to Wilson, Bush specifically asked that Trump and his wife attend a Washington memorial for him following his death along with the other surviving presidents putting him at risk of looking ungracious should he decline. What a great life he had.
In a show of respect, Pennsylvania Avenue was lined with well-wishers as a cortege proceeded toward the cathedral in the first presidential funeral since Gerald Ford died in late 2006.
Wednesday's national funeral service caps three days of remembrance by dignitaries and ordinary citizens.
The group had been friends with Bush since they played at a White House barbecue when Bush was vice president. His wife Hillary - Trump's former rival - looked straight ahead, despite nodding in acknowledgment to a greeting from Melania.
"I think it's just a vehicle for them, Shannon, to be able to contrast what they think Trump is versus the way they're telling us Bush was", Limbaugh said.
Trump, no fan of the Bush family, has mocked "points of light" at recent campaign rallies, preferring his own protectionist philosophy of "America first".
Robin, George W. Bush's younger sister, died from leukemia at age 3.
"I'm just here to pay my respects", said Jane Hernandez, a retired physician in the heavily Democratic city and suburbs. The lead aircraft has been painted with Bush's name under the pilot's seat and his late wife Barbara's name under the backseater's canopy.