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George H.W. Bush to be laid to rest wearing socks honoring his service in the Navy

The self-described "sock man" will be dressed in a special pair honoring his service as a Navy pilot in World War II.
/ Source: TODAY

George H.W. Bush is making one final footwear statement.

The former president, who in his later years was known for sporting colorful socks, will be carried to his final resting place wearing a pair honoring his service as a Navy pilot in World War II.

Bush spokesman Jim McGrath on Monday tweeted a photo of the gray socks depicting naval aviator wings and a squadron of jets. Bush died Friday at 94.

"The 41st President will be carried to his final rest wearing socks that pay tribute to his lifetime of service, starting as an 18 year-old naval aviator in war," McGrath said.

Bush enlisted in the military when he was 18, six months after the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. At the time, he was one of the Navy's youngest pilots.

He was shot down over the Pacific in 1944 in an attack that killed the two other airmen on his plane. Bush was eventually rescued by a U.S. submarine.

He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Presidential Unit Citation, and three Air Medals for acts of heroism during his military career.

In his later years, Bush became known for wearing colorful socks as his ankles became more visible. He was diagnosed with a form of Parkinson's disease in 2007 and used a wheelchair for mobility.

"I love a good sock," he once told his granddaughter, TODAY correspondent Jenna Bush Hager in an interview, declaring himself a "sock man."

The former president wore bright pink ones at a presidential library dedication for his son in 2013, and also sported a red pair with his own face on them while accepting an award from the Lyndon B. Johnson Foundation in Houston that same year.

He even had a pair of socks honoring his beloved service dog, Sully, who spent Sunday night lying in front of Bush's flag-draped casket, according to another photo McGrath posted.

The memorial services for Bush begin on Monday, when he will lie in state in the rotunda at the U.S. Capitol ahead of a service at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday morning.

A second memorial will then be held at St. Martin's Episcopal Church in Houston on Thursday before he is buried on the grounds of the George Bush Presidential Library & Museum at Texas A&M University.

Bush will be buried alongside wife Barbara Bush, who died at 92 in April, and their daughter, Robin, who died in 1953 from leukemia when she was 3 years old.

At his wife's funeral in April, Bush wore socks with books on them to honor the former first lady's love of reading and commitment to literacy.