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Unity emphasized at ceremony honoring former President Ford

Hilary Farrell

A ceremony honoring former President Gerald R. Ford’s birthday emphasized a legacy of national unity. 

"As we currently experience a deep divide in our country, we are reminded that we’ve been here before. And we also remember that President Ford held our country together."

"He helped all of us to dream of possibilities." 

As the event's keynote speaker, Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss says that message remains just as relevant today.

"President Ford was President during this time when there was this incredible divide in our country and a lot of people had lost their faith in government. And he played a pivotal role in bringing people together."

The wreath-laying service outside Ford’s tomb at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Center in downtown Grand Rapids included a 38-second moment of silence to commemorate Ford's 38th presidency, as well as a military tribute and salute.

Susan Ford is President Ford’s daughter.

"Today is just another nod to him. To wish him you know, 103 years old – I wish he was still here. We (also) buried my mother five years ago today." 

"It’s tough, but it’s just another nod – and he loved Grand Rapids more than anybody."

Ford died in 2006 at the age of 93.

Hilary is a General Assignment and Enterprise reporter for WGVU Public Media. She joined WGVU in September 2014 after several years of experience as a local news reporter, anchor and photojournalist in Midland, Saginaw and Bay counties. She's also worked as a financial and business reporter and audio field producer.
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