WASHINGTON -- A Virginia Boy Scout troop stood in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda early Tuesday morning to pay their respects and honor the nation's 41st president -- George H. W. Bush.

"Patriotism should never sleep," is what Eagle Scout Ben Motta told his Boy Scout troop when he encouraged them to stay up all night to salute the president.

Boy Scouts Troop 1717, of Hartwood, Virginia, along with other citizens stood in silence just before 2 a.m. near Bush's casket to bid him farewell.

"When I gave that salute, I was just saying, 'Thank you Mr. President for your service.' And with any other president, should I get the opportunity, I would do the same thing," said Eagle Scout Teddy Durant.

The troop is affiliated with Hartwood Presbyterian Church.

"The entire mood was just, powerful. It was a really heavy moment," said Zachary Dankanich, also a member of Troop 1717.

"It's a life of service dedicated to his country. And I think that's something all scouts seek to emulate in some way shape or form," Motta said.

Like all presidents do, H.W. Bush was President of the Boy Scouts of America and even put his children into the Cub Scouts.

Bush died late Friday, less than a year after the passing of his wife of 73 years, Barbara Bush.

Bush will lie in state until 7 a.m. on Wednesday, and then will be honored with a state funeral Wednesday morning at the Washington National Cathedral.

After the service, he will be flown back to Houston for burial.

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