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Former US President Gerald Ford To Be Laid To Rest


Former U.S. President Gerald Ford is to be laid to rest shortly in his Michigan hometown after several days of tributes to the 38th president of the United States.

The last of the funeral services for Mr. Ford was held at his hometown church, Grace Episcopal Church on Wednesday in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Other tributes had been held in the U.S. capital, Washington, and California.

Jimmy Carter, who defeated Mr. Ford in the 1976 presidential election, spoke at today's service about his close friendship with Mr. Ford. Mr. Carter, as he did three decades ago, thanked Mr. Ford for all he did to heal the nation.

Donald Rumsfeld, who served in Mr. Ford's Cabinet, also recalled the difficult time in which Mr. Ford became president. He said the pressures were enormous, but that, in his words, "few doubted that the gentleman from Michigan would keep his word."

Mr. Ford was appointed vice president in 1973, and became president in August 1974 after the resignation of Richard Nixon amid the Watergate political scandal.

Tens of thousands of people waited in long lines today and Tuesday at Mr. Ford's museum in Grand Rapids to view the former president's flag-draped coffin.

Mr. Ford died last week in California at the age of 93. He is to be buried on the grounds of the museum.

At a funeral in Washington Tuesday, President Bush said Mr. Ford brought calm and healing during one of the most divisive times in American history.

Mr. Ford served in Congress for 25 years before being appointed to succeed Vice President Spiro Agnew, who resigned amid a scandal.

Shortly after assuming the presidency, Mr. Ford pardoned former President Nixon, a move many say cost him the 1976 election to Mr. Carter, a Democrat.

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