Democrats and Republicans on Wednesday remembered the late former President Gerald R. Ford as a man who led the nation out of the dark days of the Watergate scandal.
Ford, 93, "died peacefully" Tuesday evening at his home in Rancho Mirage, California, his widow, Betty Ford said in a statement. An official cause of death was not announced.
"His life was filled with love of God, his family and his country," she said.
Although funeral arrangements have not been announced, U.S. Capitol Police officers said they were told to prepare for Ford's casket to come to Washington's Capitol Rotunda on Saturday, according to The Associated Press, and a service at the city's National Cathedral was expected Tuesday.
In a brief address to the nation, President Bush called Ford a "great man" who was a "true gentleman."
Ford replaced President Richard Nixon who resigned in 1974 during a scandal surrounding the burglary of Democratic party offices at the Watergate Hotel.
"He assumed power in a period of great division and turmoil," Bush said. "For a nation that needed healing and for an office that needed a calm and steady hand, Gerald Ford came along when we needed him most."
In Ford's honor, Bush ordered U.S. flags at all government buildings to fly at half-staff for 30 days.
This caricature was originally posted on August 28, 2006. To see more Newsmaker Caricatures by John Cox, click here.
Posted by Forkum at December 27, 2006 07:15 PM