National Day of Mourning – A Federal Holiday Today – Here’s What’s Open and What’s Closed

President Donald Trump has declared today a National Day of Mourning, meaning that nearly all federal workers would be excused from work and their agencies would be closed, as the nation mourns the death of former President George H.W. Bush.

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Photo: KUTV

The former president is given a state funeral today at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.

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Photo of the Washington National Cathedral courtesy of Washington DC

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Photo: USA Today

After the ceremony, the body will be moved to Texas, where he will be buried at his presidential library.

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Photo: KBTX


Mr. Bush died Friday evening at the age of 94.

Why so special?

Here is a quick recap on how amazing this man’s track record was and why he is well-respected and honored in many ways by many.

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Photo of George Herbert Walker Bush courtesy of WebMD

George H. W. Bush (known simply as George Bush) was born in Milton, Massachusetts to Prescott Bush and Dorothy Walker Bush. Following the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, Bush postponed his university studies, enlisted in the United States Navy on his 18th birthday, and became one of the youngest aviators in the U.S. Navy.



He served in the U.S. Navy until September 1945, and then attended Yale University. Graduating in 1948, he moved his family to West Texas, where he entered the oil business and became a millionaire by the age of 40 in 1964.

Soon after founding his own oil company, Bush became involved in politics. He ran for the U.S. Senate in 1964 but was defeated, though in 1966, he won the election to the House of Representatives from Texas’s 7th district and served til 1968. He ran for the Senate again in 1970 but was defeated again. In 1971, he was appointed by President Richard Nixon to be the Ambassador to the United Nations.


Two years later, in 1973, Bush became the Chairman of the Republican National Committee. The following year in 1974, he was appointed by President Gerald Ford to be the Chief of the Liaison Office in China and later, as the Director of Central Intelligence – the CIA!

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In 1980, Bush ran for president but was defeated in the Republican primary by Ronald Reagan, who chose him as his Vice President in his successful bid for presidency. Bush was Vice President of the United States under Ronald Reagan for 8 years, where he headed task forces on deregulation and the war on drugs.

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As you can see, he has an exceptional record of achievements.

He was the 41st President of the United States from 1989 to 1993; he was the 43rd Vice President of the United States from 1981 to 1989; and prior to that, he was a U.S. Representative, a United Nations Ambassador, the Director of CIA, an oil millionaire, and one of the youngest aviators in the U.S. Navy during WW2.

How many of us have accomplished this much in our lifetime?

Photo of Bush with Basketball legend Magic Johnson in July 1980 courtesy of


The nation mourns for his death and here is what’s open and what’s closed today – The National Day of Mourning.


Post offices closed 

Even though it’s busy time of year for mailing holiday cards and gifts, United States Postal Service locations will be closed on Wednesday to “honor [the former President’s] vast contributions to our country during his lifetime,” the USPS said in a statement. The post office will also suspend regular mail delivery and administrative office activities on Wednesday.

But some packages still may be delivered. USPS plans to provide limited package delivery on Wednesday to stay ahead of the busy holiday season.

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Photo: Samoa News


Major U.S. stock markets closed

Major U.S. markets, including the New York Stock Exchange, NASDAQ and the Dow Jones Industrial Average, will be closed on Wednesday in observance of the National Day of Mourning. SIFMA, an influential financial trade group, also recommended that bond markets close on Wednesday, which would include Treasury bonds, corporate debt, and municipal bonds.

The New York Stock Exchange said it would lower its American flag to half-staff to and U.S. traders held a moment of silence on Monday prior to the market open. The last time U.S. markets were closed to honor a late president was on January 2, 2007 for the funeral of former President Gerald Ford.

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Most federal employees will be excused from work

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management announced that most federal workers will be excused from work on Wednesday “to allow Federal employees to join their fellow citizens in remembering our 41st President of the United States.” However, employees whose absence would undermine national security, defense or essential public business will still report to work.


Nearly all federal offices will be closed

As part of President Trump’s executive order, nearly all federal offices will be closed on Wednesday, with limited exceptions for national security purposes.

  • All Social Security field offices and hearing offices will be closed Wednesday, but the agency’s online presence will be available to consumers.
  • The National Passport Information Center, as well as all passport agencies and centers, will be closed on Wednesday. All appointments scheduled for December 5 must be rescheduled.


Source: Wikipedia, CBS News, CBS Interactive Inc

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