Great Moments

Lady of Distinction

“For over a century, The Salvation Army has been a beacon of faith and caring throughout the world.”—Barbara Bush

Barbara Bush remembered

In a ceremony in Houston, Texas on April 21, 2018, Barbara Pierce Bush, known as one of the Salvation Army’s fiercest advocates, was laid to rest at age 92. Her dedication to multiple philanthropic causes, from literacy to homelessness, will leave a legacy.

Jon Meacham, presidential historian, said of Mrs. Bush during her funeral service, “She was known as Barbara, Barb, Mom, Mother, Ganny, The Silver Fox, and The Enforcer. She was candid and comforting, steadfast and straight forward, honest, and loving.

“She kept everything and everyone together. She was the wife of one president and the mother of another. She holds that distinction, which belongs to only one other American in the long history of the Republic, Abagail Adams, who was present at the creation of the nation.

“Barbara put country above party, the common good above political gain, and service to others above the settling of scores.”

Others award recipient

In 1991 when Barbara Bush served as the Salvation Army’s Christmas chairperson and participated in the National Kettle Kickoff, she said, “I can’t possibly think of Christmas without The Salvation Army.”

“She was known as Barbara, Barb, Mom, Mother, Ganny, The Silver Fox, and The Enforcer.”
General Eva Burrows, the Army’s international leader from 1986–1993, presented Bush with The Salvation Army’s prestigious “Others” award. The award is rooted in the history of the Army, dating back to the early 1900s when General William Booth, the Army’s founder, wanted to send a word of encouragement and direction to his officers around the world.

Wanting to be thrifty yet make his message clear, the General sent this one–word telegram: “Others.” In the spirit of that telegram, The Salvation Army honored Bush for exemplifying an extraordinary spirit of service to others through her support of The Salvation Army and the broader community.

Bush Road

In August of 1998 during the final night of the Salvation Army’s Old Orchard Beach (OOB) Camp Meetings, President George H.W. and then former First Lady Barbara Bush were keynote speakers for the “Salute to America Concert.” As a precaution, the Secret Service required that there be an access road built, starting at the rear of the Pavilion leading to the main road. To this day, that road is called “Bush Road” by OOB staffers.

“Barbara Bush was a great friend and supporter of The Salvation Army in Northern New England, due in part to the proximity of the Bush summer home in Kennebunkport, Maine,” remembers Colonel Richard Munn, now territorial secretary for theology and Christian ethics.

“During the summer of 2003, she served as the featured guest for the Greater Portland Advisory Board annual dinner, and in addition to kind remarks of encouragement and wisdom, she deliberately and publically made sure we personally received her generous financial donation, exhorting others present to ‘do likewise.’  She knew what she was doing, and orchestrated the moment with grace and humor,” Munn said.

by Warren L. Maye

Previous post

¡Curemos las brechas que nos dividen!

Next post

Book Reviews