GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Tuesday marks the 102nd anniversary of the birth of President Gerald R. Ford.
The wreath-laying ceremony at Ford’s tomb outside the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and Museum downtown, which is held each year on his birthday, was conducted Tuesday morning.
One of the wreaths laid at the tomb was from President Barack Obama, an honor reserved for every former president by the sitting president on the anniversary of their birth.
Also Tuesday at the J.W. Marriott Hotel in downtown Grand Rapids was the 2015 William E. Simon Lecture featuring former Secretary of the Treasury Paul O’Neill.
O’Neill told our sister station WOOD TV8 on Monday that even if Americans didn’t realize it at the time, they had the man they wanted at the helm when Ford was in office.
“President Ford was the president that the American people have always yearned for, and when we had him, we didn’t recognize it. It is really ironic that we had the president that we want even today. We want that person who is intelligent, and value-based, and caring, and driven by wanting to do the right thing every day for the American people. That was President Ford,” O’Neill said.
Memorial events were expanded this year to include a concert by the United States Air Force Band of Mid-America, Starlifter, on Monday evening in Ah-Nab-Awen just outside the Ford Presidential Library.