George W. Bush, the 43rd president of the United States, was reduced to tears on Monday afternoon as Vice President Mike Pence read a letter which was written by the late President George H.W. Bush. The note was penned to Pence’s son after he reached a major milestone in his military career.
Vice President Mike Pence delivered a eulogy honoring the late President George H.W. Bush on Monday afternoon, sharing a story about the former president signing a letter for his son after he accomplished his first tailhook landing.
“After a lifetime of writing letters, my son got one, just not too long ago,” said Pence. “As I told two of his sons this weekend, when our son made his first tailhook landing as a Marine aviator on the USS George Herbert Walker Bush, I took the liberty of writing the ship’s namesake to ask for a small favor. I didn’t write him as a vice president to a former president. I just wrote as a proud dad of a Marine aviator to a former Navy pilot.”
“I asked him to sign a picture of the flight deck that I could give to my son,” Pence explained. “Now we were told by the staff that the president had long since ended the practice of signing autographs and we understood that. But little to my surprise, just in time for my son’s winging, there came not only a signed photograph but, of course, a letter. Hand-signed as well. August 2018.”
“In that letter, President Bush wrote to my son in his words, ‘Congratulations on receiving your wings of gold. I know how proud you and your family are at this moment,’” said the vice president.
“And then in words that assured us that the letter came directly from him, he wrote, ‘Though we have not met, I share the pride your father has for you during this momentous occasion, and I wish you many C.A.V.U. days ahead. All the best, G. Bush.’ I would come to learn that that acronym, ‘CAVU,’ for short is a term Navy pilots have used since World War II. It stands for ceiling and visibility unlimited,” Mike Pence stated.
Following the death of former President George H.W. Bush on Friday, the acronym CAVU began to appear in social media posts and hashtags commemorating his life and service to his country.
CAVU is an aeronautical meteorology term that stands for the phrase “ceiling and visibility unlimited,” and because of his time spent serving as a naval aviator, that phrase held special meaning for Bush.
CNN’s Jamie Gangel explained that the former president had a plaque featuring that acronym in his office, noting, “He always felt it represented his life. The sky was the limit, and he had everything.” [Source: The Daily Caller]
George H.W. Bush gave an interview in 2006 with CNN’s Larry King, reading part of a letter he had sent to his children just before the start of the Gulf War.
“CAVU was the kind of weather we Navy pilots wanted when we were to fly off our carrier in the Pacific,” wrote Bush. “We had little navigational instrumentation, so we wanted to CAVU, ceiling and visibility unlimited, and because of the five of you whose hugs I can still feel, whose own lives made me so proud, I can confidently tell my guardian angel that my life is CAVU and it will be that way until I die. All because of you.”
This word is meaningful to the Bush family still. When the patriarch of the family passed away on Friday, they used it as the code word to pass the somber news amongst themselves.
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