Sunday, March 11, 2012

Rumsfeld Eulogizes Ford

Donald Rumsfeld, who served impressively as Secretary of Defense for both President Ford and President Bush, and who also served in the House of Representatives, as well as being White House Chief of Staff, Director of the Office of Economic Opportunity, and Ambassador to NATO, included the following paragraph in his speech at one of the several state funerals given for President Ford:

When I joined Gerald Ford as a member of Congress in 1962, I found a skillful legislator who had earned the respect of his colleagues. He was energetic in his desire to serve and to contribute. But he did not wake up every morning wondering how he could get ahead. In fact, in 1964, Betty will remember that a small group of us had to work very, very hard to persuade Jerry Ford to run for minority leader of the United States House of Representatives. And I was able to see him work skillfully to achieve passage of the historic civil rights legislation during the 1960s. Later, as White House chief of staff, I was standing next to President Ford during two assassination attempts that stunned an already traumatized country, which he handled with courage, with poise, and, I should add, with good humor.
President Gerald R. Ford had perhaps more funerals, and more speeches and eulogies given in his memory, than any other U.S. president. This is a reflection of the unique role he played in American history, restoring, through his personal integrity and honor, a sense of stability and trust.