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Ford eulogized at U.S. Capitol

Dec. 30, 2006 at 11:55 PM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, Dec. 30 (UPI) -- Former President Gerald Ford's body arrived in Washington Saturday and was taken to the U.S. Capitol to lie in state, beginning a period of official mourning.

Former first lady Betty Ford accompanied her husband's coffin from California. A few thousand people awaited the coffin's arrival, including honorary pallbearers former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and former National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Groups of World War II veterans and Eagle Scouts waited by the World War II memorial to honor Ford, who was both.

Saturday's ceremonies at the Capitol included eulogies by Vice President Dick Cheney, who served as Ford's chief of staff, and House Speaker Dennis Hastert, who holds the job Ford once aspired to.

"At the end of his days Gerald Ford knew how much he meant to us and to his country," said Cheney. "We were proud to call him our leader, grateful to know him as a man."

Ford -- who died Tuesday at 93 -- is to lie in state through Monday. He is to be buried Tuesday near his presidential library in Grand Rapids, Mich., after a funeral service at the National Cathedral in Washington.

© 2006 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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