In honor of the passing of President George H.W. Bush, a National Day of Mourning has been established for December 5, 2018.

The purpose of a day of mourning is to give people a chance to grieve and pay their last respects. It is generally a tradition reserved for U.S. commanders-in-chief.

Major closures

  • The U.S. Postal Service will not deliver regular mail. Limited package delivery will continue.
  • Federal offices will be closed.
  • The Supreme Court is postponing arguments for a day.
  • The New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq will be closed.
  • The House of Representatives has canceled all votes for the week.
  • The Senate has postponed votes for the day.
  • All Capitol tours have been canceled until after the state funeral.
  • Some banks and courts will be closed.

Courtesy of BGR

How does this affect federal employees?

The Executive Order closes all federal offices and excuses all federal employees from work on Wednesday, December 5, 2018. Exceptions are employees who, according to the agency head, cannot be excused because of their role in essential public business, national security, and defense. Federal employees who do work will receive premium pay, similar to working on a holiday.

If you are already scheduled for leave, you will not be required to use your paid time off hours to cover it. For more information about federal employee policies surrounding a day of mourning, read the press release by the Office of Personnel Management.

Can I attend the state funeral?

The official state funeral at the National Cathedral will be by invitation only, but the service will be widely televised and covered online. The public is encouraged to pay their last respects before 7 a.m. on December 5 at the Capitol Rotunda where President Bush is lying in state. You should plan on entering through the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center. For more information on visiting the Capitol Rotunda, including road closures and walking directions, visit the Office of the Architect of the Capitol.

Courtesy of the Architect of the Capitol

How will you be observing the National Day of Mourning? Let us know in the comments below.