Gerald R. Ford, 1913-2006.
I began this new year with a trip to the Capitol Rotunda to pay my respects to the late President Ford, who is lying in state until 6 pm tonight. I was a child when he was sworn in as the 38th president but well remember the sense of bewilderment and disillusionment of the time. Would we be alright after Watergate?
Then this plainspoken, thoughtful Midwesterner asked humbly for his fellow citizens' prayers in his inaugural address and went on to provide calm and decisive leadership during his term. His pardon of Nixon, I think, was the right decision; otherwise, it would have been Nixon 24/7, and the business of the country could not have been conducted.
In addition, it was Mr. Ford who signed legislation that permitted women to enter the U.S. military academies.