Nixon's brother, Ed, was among the crowd of about 150 who got together at the Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda, Calif., to salute the 37th president who died in 1994, almost 20 years after resigning the presidency because of what came to be known as the Watergate scandal.
"Without a doubt, Richard Nixon made a difference," said Navy Rear Adm. Mike Shatynski, who represented President Barack Obama at the ceremony. "His achievements were, and still are, significant."
Shatynski, who is from nearby Whittier where Nixon went to college, noted that Nixon had overseen the withdrawal of U.S. forces from South Vietnam and had pulled the plug on the military draft, The Orange County Register reported.
Ed Nixon reminded the crowd that this year marks the 40th anniversary of his brother's historic ice-breaking trip to China.
"It's great to think what effect Richard Nixon had on the leaders of the world," he said.