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During his 1989 inauguration speech, President George H.W. Bush talked about a legacy of compassion, which continued to show long after leaving office. Wochit, York Dispatch

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Former U.S. Rep. Todd Platts once called George H.W. Bush an inspiration for him.

“I’ve always long admired President Bush,” said Platts, now a York County Common Pleas Court judge.

Speaking a few years ago, Platts recalled voting for Bush during the 1980 primary, and said he helped with Bush’s presidential campaign in 1988.

“He just had a remarkable career,” the six-term Republican congressman said at the time.

Platts’ met the former president as recently as 2009, during President Barack Obama’s inauguration ceremony.

Before that, Platts and his family had attended a commissioning ceremony for the USS George H.W. Bush.

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“The commissioning was such a wonderful tribute to his service,” he said.

At the inauguration ceremony, Platts said he briefly spoke to the former president, mentioning the commissioning ceremony.

“He turned around and said to me, ‘Wasn’t that great fun?’” Platts recalled.

“My response was ‘Mr. President, it absolutely was,’” he said.

Platts said he commended the former president’s statesmanship and service.

“He sets the example for me and for anyone who wants to carry public office,” Platts said.

He recalled how Bush became friends with President Bill Clinton, who beat him in the 1992 election.

“That type of statesmanship, is unfortunately, more and more lacking in the political arena today,” he said.

Platts said Bush’s service to the country was “selfless.”

“With history, he will be regarded as one of the real heroes of our nation for his service in so many ways,” Platts said.

According to York Dispatch archives, the former president campaigned in downtown York City while vice president in the fall of 1988.

He stopped in Monaghan Township in June 1992 for a fundraising dinner for U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter.

His last stop, according to records, was in May 1999, when he spoke at the Strand-Capitol Performing Arts Center for the Junior League of York.

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