Thousands Outside Private Ford Funeral

By: Beth Shayne Email
By: Beth Shayne Email

The crowd of thousands practically held its collective breath as the body of Gerald Ford passed through the familiar doors of Grace Episcopal Church once again.

They were lined up along Hall Street, and the surrounding roads in East Grand Rapids to catch a glimpse of the motorcade as it passed.

Chris Williams came from Lansing to witness the moment in history--his second with gerald ford.

"I saw him on a whistlestop tour in Lansing [in 1976], so this is like full circle," he said.

Vickie Parmer brought her sons--Boy Scouts ages 10 and 12--from Williamston to the Ford musuem to see the casket. They then sat at Hall Street for hours--a history lesson they'll never forget.

"I keep documenting every minute with pictures so they'll remember," she says.

Though these are the final ceremonies of the national good-bye to President Ford, there were homemade signs all over with a common and much-repeated message. Along the streets of East Grand Rapids, many came to say "Welcome Home."

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