Ford's Final Funeral

By: Tony Tagliavia Email
By: Tony Tagliavia Email

"And though this body be destroyed, yet shall I see God," the Rev. Robert Certain, the Fords' California priest prayed as former President Gerald R. Ford's body was carried to the front of his Michigan church.

"The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want," President Ford's son, Michael read.

And after scripture readings from Michael and his brother Steven, Gerald Ford was eulogized by a onetime political opponent.

"You learn a lot about a man when you run against him for president," Former President Jimmy Carter said.

Carter says he learned President Ford was a man of deep faith, deep convictions and a good friend. Even after Carter defeated Ford and succeeded him in the presidency, the two talked about how to tackle the world's toughest problems.

"We always cherished those memories of now perhaps a long lost bipartisanship relationship," Carter said.

That theme of working together along with themes of honesty, decency, trust, followed throughout the remembrance, including in the words of recently departed Defense Secretary and President Ford's onetime chief of staff, Donald Rumsfeld.

"A few days ago, a neighbor offered an insight, saying, he was one of us. And he was," Rumsfeld said.

Still, he recalled fierce criticism of the former president. Rumsfeld says it takes time to truly measure the success of a leader.

Gerald Ford was out of office for 30 years when he died, honored now in his boyhood hime by those who have followed him in public service for Michigan and the nation.

"Even in a country coarsened by skepticism, few doubted the man from Michigan would keep his word, that was his special magic," Rumsfeld said special to the country and the state he served.


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