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Joe Friday

Country music stars are reflecting on the death of the 41st U.S. president

Country music stars are reflecting on the death of the 41st U.S. president, George Herbert Walker Bush.

Bush died at his Houston home late Friday. He was 94.

The former Navy pilot served as U.S. president from 1989 to 1993, after two terms as Ronald Reagan's vice president. 

Randy Travis wrote his 1991 hit "Point of Light" for Bush's "Thousand Points of Light" initiative highlighting America's spirit of volunteerism. 

Travis said, "The world lost a wonderful human being whose greatest concern was for others, and for that which is right. President George Bush, Sr.’s steady leadership encouraged us all to work together to make a difference in his 'Thousand Points of Light' initiative, which I was blessed to be a part of."

Travis said his relationship with the Bush family continued for years to come. He attended Bush's 80th birthday.

"President Bush served our country well," Travis said. "He laughed often and lived well. He collected accomplishments, not accolades. His example as a faithful Christian father, friend, and family man never wavered. Thank you, sir, for the difference you made in my life and millions of others."
 
Larry Gatlin, of Grammy-award winning trio The Gatlin Brothers, also befriended Bush during his presidential campaign. He went on to perform several times at the White House. 

But he first met him decades before that, when he performed at a campaign event for Bush's failed run for for Congress in 1964. 

In the 1980s, Gatlin ran into then-Vice President Bush again at the White House and said "hello."

Gatlin recalls, "He stuck out his hand and said: 'Hey Larry Gatlin, you're one of those little snotty nose kids who sang for my campaign in Odessa in 1964'. I said: 'Yessir I am.' He said: 'It worked out better this time. We won!' Rest in peace, old friend."

The Gatlin Brothers went on to develop a friendship with Bush, performing multiple times for his campaigns and at the White House. 
 
Charlie Daniels also had fond memories of the former president. 

He tweeted a photo of himself standing next to Bush before the Super Bowl in 2005. 

Daniels wrote, "Deepest condolences to the Bush family on the death of George H W Bush, a patriot and a truly nice gentleman." 

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