San Francisco

Former President George H.W. Bush Remembered on World AIDS Day

Cities across the country and the world continue their tributes for former President George H.W. Bush following his death Friday.

Many are remembering his service to the country which began in World War II as a naval pilot and ended as the 41st President of the United States.

In the Bay Area, some residents remembered Bush with mixed feelings as World AIDS Day brought up memories about his lack of participation in Washington D.C.’s AIDS Quilt event in 1989.

At Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, a concert was held Saturday to commemorate those who passed away of AIDS.

Pastor Michael Cronin with the Metropolitan Community Church said he vividly remembers the AIDS Quilt event in 1989 where then-President Bush was invited to attend, but instead left the White House.

“Immediately Cleve Jones was up at the podium and started saying ‘shame, shame, shame’ and the whole people on the ellipse were going ‘shame, shame, shame’ as he flew over,” Cornin said. “All sorts of good things by him and in his lifetime, at the same time, I remember his inaction.”

In 1989 Bush left a different kind of impression on former San Francisco Mayor Art Agnos when Bush visited San Francisco after the Loma Prieta earthquake.

“We flew all over San Francisco while I pointed out the various parts of the city that were badly damaged,” Agnos said.

Parts of San Francisco had been badly damaged and was still burning at the time of his visit.

Agnos said the president wanted to spend time with first responders and wanted to know more about the damage the city sustained.

“He wanted to know the specifics, the details, and was genuinely interested. He just didn’t want highlights,” Agnos said.

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