The Ford Family welcomed distinguished guests and the public alike to the annual wreath laying on July 14th at Gerald R. Ford’s tomb outside the Presidential Museum in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Three wreaths were placed at the tomb of the 38th President of the United States on what would have been President Ford’s 99th birthday: from President Barrack Obama, several generations of the Ford family and members of President Ford’s White House and Cabinet. The wreath laying was followed by the playing of taps and a thirty-eight second moment of silence. In addition, grandchildren of Gerald and Betty Ford placed flowers at the tomb of Betty Ford, which lays directly next to President Ford’s. Johanna Harvey, a breast cancer survivor and former patient at the Betty Ford Breast Cancer Center at Spectrum Hospital, also placed flowers at the tomb of the former First Lady. Her gesture symbolized the gratitude of millions of women around the world who admired Betty’s bravery, having undergone surgery for the disease herself shortly after President Ford took office in 1974.
Friend of the Ford Family and former National Security Advisor, Brent Scowcroft provided remarks on Gerald & Betty Ford. Scowcroft reflected on the strength, character and grace shown by President and Mrs. Ford while they were at “the helm, during a period of National trial”.
The ceremony concluded after a prayer was offered by the clergy.