© AP / Van Cliburn
George W. Bush pays tribute to Van Cliburn at memorial service
March 4, 2013, 10:33 AM EST
Former President George W. Bush paid tribute to classical pianist Van Cliburn
at a memorial service in Fort Worth, Texas on Sunday.
Bush was among 1,400 mourners who turned out to pay their respects to the
78-year-old musician following his death from bone cancer last week. Bush, who
presented the pianist with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2003, spoke at
the ceremony and described Cliburn as a "gracious" and "humble" man, who was
"beloved, even by the enemy" and "spread peace and love through his music."
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A statement from President Barack Obama, who awarded Cliburn the National
Medal of Arts in 2010, was read at the service, along with a note of
tribute from Russian President Vladimir Putin. The memorial service also
featured a performance by the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, accompanied by a