Tuesday, January 2, 2007

President Gerald Ford's Funeral

It is good to see all the former Presidents, in addition to President George W. Bush, in attendance at Gerald Ford’s funeral.

The coverage by the networks and cable news channels is substantial. They are showing a reverence that should be expected when one of the leaders of our great country pass on.

As I sit and watch the Presidential funeral in Washington , I think back to other Presidents that have died and been buried in my lifetime.

1963: John F. Kennedy-I was only nine years old but remember the circumstances of it. My father was in the U.S. military and we were living in France . We did not have a television or phone. The funeral was broadcast on the radio. My father left our home in his uniform, took his duffel bag filled with his gear, and we didn’t see him for almost a week. I found out later he was on alert in case the Soviets attempted anything during the funeral and transfer of power.

1964: Herbert Hoover-I was ten years old and, I am embarrassed to admit, I had to look up when he died. We were back in the United States after my father’s tour of duty in France . If it was on television, I don’t remember it.

1969: Dwight D. Eisenhower-I was a freshman in high school and remember nothing about his funeral. I guess I was wrapped up in the life of a 15 year old and didn’t pay attention to such things. As in most newsworthy things in life, I regret not paying attention more during my early years.

1972: Harry S. Truman-I was a senior in high school. Just like with Eisenhower’s funeral, I don’t remember anything about it.

1973: Lyndon Baines Johnson-I was a freshman in college. I don’t remember much about his funeral. I do remember watching it on television, but nothing much comes to mind from it.

1994: Richard M. Nixon-I watched his funeral intensely on television. As I got older, I realized that watching such solemn occasions on television helps keep the history of the event and the memory of the person sharp and clear in one’s mine. I always felt Nixon was one of our better Presidents. He did so much for foreign relations. He got caught up in Watergate, but the things he accomplished were more important to the history of our country than some of our more recent residents of the White House.

2004: Ronald Reagan-I watched television as much as I could when Reagan passed. I flipped between stations and along with constant interaction on the internet; I was totally engrossed in the coverage. In my opinion, Reagan was, by far, the best President during my lifetime and possible in the history of our country. When he died, it was like your kind, wise grandfather has passed on. I still to this day, miss him running our country.

2007: Gerald Ford-Some have referred to him as the “Accidental President” and criticize him for pardoning Richard Nixon. I am glad he pardoned Nixon. It was the right thing to do. History will judge how much impact he had on our country. I feel he had a good heart and did what he did to the best of his ability. After all, this is not a man who actively sought the Presidency. He came into the job in a roundabout way, and made the best of it.

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