Local Reaction to Ford's Death

The news of Former President Gerald Ford's death has Americans remembering the 38th president and his legacy.

Hundreds have already signed condolence books at the Ford Presidential Museum in Michigan that will be passed along to Ford's family.

Local residents are also mourning, while sharing their memories of the former president.

"I hardly never heard him use the word I," David Kent with the Republican Party of the Brazos Valley said. "It was always you. 'What are you doing?' or 'How can I help you?'. He would go around to everybody in the room and talk to them personally, usually politicians don't do that."

Kent had the chance to meet Ford about five years ago, but decades before their meeting Kent said he considered him a good man for the job.

"They always said he was a hard worker," Kent said. "He worked from five in the morning to nine at night. That's what everybody said about him."

On Wednesday, Congressman Chet Edwards released this statement regarding Ford.

"President Ford's greatest gift to the nation was his deep sense of personal decency," Edwards said. "The genuine respect he showed to others restored Americans' faith in our democracy in the wake of Watergate and exemplified the kind of bipartisan public service that Americans yearn for today."

In 1974, then Vice President Ford was the commencement speaker at Edwards' Texas A&M graduation.
An event Edwards said shaped his life.

Several years later, Ford made another trip to Aggieland for the grand opening of the George Bush Presidential Library.

Local residents are now remembering the man that led them through a tumultuous time.

"I just think if a man takes care of our country, that's a calling," Brazos County resident Pat Rittman said. "I think President Ford did a great job."

"He settled the country down very well after the Watergate scandal," Kenneth Dirks, a Brazos County resident said. "He was a man to be admired."

"He was a very kind man," Brazos County resident Dot Borski said. "He was everybody's brother I guess you could say."

And during his short time in the oval office, Ford used his genuine nature, remembered by many, to heal a suspicious and wounded nation.

Officials are planning the funeral for former President Ford against a backdrop of historic farewells.

Capitol police officers say they've been told to prepare for Ford's body to come to the Capitol Rotunda Saturday, where the 38th president may lie in state until a service after New Year's at Washington National Cathedral.

Ford's family hasn't signed off on final plans, although they're expected to borrow from the traditional chances for the public to pay respects near Ford's California home, then at the Capitol, and finally at his presidential museum in Michigan.

Ronald Reagan was the 10th president to lay in state in the Capitol.

Only eight presidents have had funeral processions down Pennsylvania Avenue.

A senior Republican says all the events should be concluded before the 110th Congress convenes January 4.


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