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President Ford’s 107th Birthday to be honored with wirtual events due to Covid

Special to Washington County News
Washington County News

GRAND RAPIDS– To commemorate President Gerald R. Ford’s 107th birthday on July 14, the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation is hosting events virtually this year due to COVID-19, including Facebook Live videos of the annual wreath laying ceremony and a panel discussion regarding the first-ever children’s book about President Ford.

The commemoration begins with a Facebook Live of the wreath laying ceremony at 9 a.m. July 14, at the Gerald R. Ford and Betty B. Ford burial site on the grounds of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum. The ceremony is a combination of two traditions. The first, a long-standing presidential tradition of observing each deceased president’s birthday, during which the sitting president sends a wreath to be presented by a military officer. President Donald J. Trump's wreath will be placed by Brig. General Paul Rogers. The second is a personal tribute established by first lady Betty Ford in 2007, which includes the presentation of a wreath from the Ford family. The family’ wreath will be placed by President Ford’s nieces and nephews. Following the ceremony, the Army Chorus will honor President Ford with a virtual choral tribute. The ceremony is available for public viewing on the Foundation’s Facebook page at 9 a.m.

In addition to the wreath laying ceremony, a children’s book about President Ford will be released to the public. “Truth and Honor: The President Ford Story,” written by Lindsey McDivitt, tells the story of President Ford at various stages in his life, from his early childhood years and his years at the University of Michigan, to his years in the Navy, Congress and then his presidency in the 1970s.

To celebrate the book’s release, the Foundation will host a Facebook Live panel discussion on the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation’s Facebook page. The panel discussion begins at 7 p.m. with McDivitt, and Mike Ford and Steve Ford, sons of President Ford and Betty Ford. The virtual discussion features the Ford brothers candidly sharing some of their fondest childhood memories of their parents and the lessons they learned from them. McDivitt shares her inspiration behind “Truth and Honor,” and the importance of providing high quality children’s books that teach history and provide role models. The panel presentation will be archived on the Foundation’s DeVos Learning Center website to be viewed any time.

Video trailers of “Truth and Honor: The President Ford Story” are available on YouTube: https://vimeo.com/432266118 and https://vimeo.com/432266247.

“Truth and Honor: The President Ford Story,” is now available online and in select book stores, including Schuler Books. To purchase your copy online, visit: Amazon.com and Sleeping Bear Press.

WHAT: Facebook Live events:

Wreath Laying Ceremony

“Truth and Honor: The President Ford Story” virtual book panel discussion with author Lindsey McDivitt; and Mike and Steve Ford

WHEN: Tuesday, July 14

9 a.m.: Virtual wreath laying ceremony

7 p.m.: Virtual book panel discussion

WHERE: Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation’s Facebook Page

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About the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation

The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation fosters increased awareness of the life, career, values, and legacy of America’s 38th President. It does so through activities designed to promote the high ideals of integrity, honesty, and candor that defined President Ford’s extraordinary career of public service. The Foundation promotes the ideas, values, commitment to public service and historical legacy of President Gerald R. Ford and further promotes greater civic engagement and recognition of integrity wherever it exists in the public arena. It supports permanent and changing exhibits designed to promote historical literacy; conferences; educational outreach and other programs, both scholarly and popular, including at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and Museum.