HUNTINGTON — Gov. Jim Justice has announced Wednesday will be a state holiday in observance of a National Day of Mourning for President George H.W. Bush.
As a result, the West Virginia Department of Education announced all county school systems will be closed.
Huntington City Hall, including the city's administrative offices, will be closed. Household trash services will be running on a one-day delay.
The village of Barboursville announced all its city offices will be closed. Trash services will run a day late for pick ups on Wednesday and Thursday and all municipal court proceedings will be rescheduled for a later date, according to a post on the village's Facebook page.
The Cabell-Huntington Health Department and the Greater Huntington Parks & Recreation District will also close their offices for the day.
All emergency services in the city and county will be operating as normal.
Marshall University will operate on a normal schedule. The university will mark the national holiday at a future date not yet determined, according to a news release.
West Virginia University will not hold classes but essential university buildings, such as dining halls, the Student Recreation Center and the Mountainlair, will be open. Wednesday’s undergraduate classes, including labs, exams and review sessions, will be moved to Friday as a make-up day. Graduate classes will be held at the instructor’s discretion.
Bush, 94, died last Friday and President Donald J. Trump designated Dec. 5 as a federal holiday to honor and commemorate the life of the 41st President of the United States.
“President George H.W. Bush was truly a great American military hero,” Justice said. “I concur with President Trump and his decision to declare December 5th as a National Day of Mourning and I am issuing an executive order to close all state agencies tomorrow in observance of his declaration.”
According to reports, most federal agencies and financial markets also will be closed Wednesday. Regular mail delivery and retail service will be canceled.
West Virginia Senate President Mitch Carmichael, R-Jackson, and State House of Delegates Roger Hanshaw, R-Clay, both released statements praising Bush's service to the country.
“There are many things America will remember about George H.W. Bush. I believe America will most remember him as a tremendous public servant with a love of country and his fellow man that was greater than himself. From a Navy pilot in World War II to President of the greatest country in the world, George H.W. Bush truly understood the value of duty and sacrifice, and it guided him throughout his amazing 94 years," Carmichael said.
Carmichael encouraged West Virginians to be inspired by Bush to work together despite political differences.
“As he said in his inaugural address, President Bush called upon the people of our country and rise up in the spirit of volunteerism to become ‘a thousand points of light in a broad and peaceful sky,’” Hanshaw said. “I can think of no greater way to honor President Bush’s legacy than by spending not just this day, but the time ahead of us to think about what we can do to make this world a better place for all."
Hanshaw encouraged residents to do something positive in Bush's memory, including visiting elderly shut-ins, donating to a food bank, volunteering for charity and helping out local veterans.