Wednesday, December 27, 2006

The Passing of Greatness

On Tuesday, President Gerald Ford passed away at the age of 93. And regardless of personal ideology or views on affairs of the past, the passing of a president is a sorrowful event. In United States history, there have still been fewer than 50 presidents, and each is a national treasure. Though only a person, they are people Americans placed into a position of great responsibility and power.

With the exception of Gerald Ford.

Ford has the distinction of being the only person to serve in the nation's highest office without having ever won a national election. Most people are aware he became president when Richard Nixon left the office after the Watergate scandal. Less well known is that he became vice president when Nixon's elected vice president, Spiro Agnew, left office amidst his own scandals. Ford was nominated and confirmed to the position of vice president in accordance with the US Constitution. Though never elected to the White House, and serving there for less than three years, President Ford did much to heal the country during his term.

President Ford guided the country through the end of the Viet Nam war. He was a welcome change from the secretive and conspiratorial presidency of Richard Nixon. And in a highly controversial move, he started the healing process by pardoning the disgraced former president for the crimes he had committed.

And he was the oldest former president in US history. His unassuming nature carried over to his "former president" status as he supported current presidents regardless of the actions they took. He believed in the office of president, and knew more than most that the president's job is to serve the American people to the best of his ability.

The nation should and will mourn the passing of President Ford. He embodied much about what makes the United States great. He proved that the peaceful transition of power can occur under the worst of circumstances. And he showed that healing and progress are possible when a nation comes together.


Flo said...

Very well said. I was never a fan of Ford's but I think he did the best he could under the circumstances fate dealt him. I understood completely why he pardoned Nixon and it really made sense. Sometimes you just need to move on.
The passing of a president is a sad thing.

Comm's said...

I hope that the news media treats the passing of President Ford with the respect he is due.

I feel that unlike Reagan the comedians out there will take this opportunity to kick the man one more time. SNL probably will run a Chevy Chase skit of him falling. Betty Ford jokes though she is still alive.

There will probably be some drudging of his pardon of Nixon as if that is realavent today.

He was not elected President. He survived two assassination attempts. He has my respect for doing what he did with the time he had.

tri-mama said...

I find myself a little sad that he has passed, even though I was only 8 when he was president.

TriBoomer said...

His passing is our loss.

Cliff said...

What a great man.

Thanks for sharing us what he had done for the country.

Spokane Al said...

I believe he was a solid American and exactly what we needed, as a country, when he was sworn in as president.

You captured him very well.

Wendy said...

He assumed the helm in a most turbulent time and steered true. He was a man with the courage of his convictions and the ability to move on.

He and Mrs. Ford also brought the issues of breast cancer and addiction forward.

An international note, he also ensured our entry into the G7 over the objections of France.

nancytoby said...

That's a lovely tribute!

But how the heck did he get to be so OLD!??? I don't remember him being THAT old!!

Kewl Nitrox said...

Thanks for sharing that - definitly an educational post for me about the man.

Vickie said...

Yes, living in Grand Rapids, I will get to see firsthand the pomp and circumstance surrounding this event. All eyes will be on our little town.

Vickie said...

Oh, I forgot, yes he was a very decent man, a surprisingly decent politician, a one of a kind. Its really nice that he actually wants to be buried here, which proves he hasn't forgotten his roots.