Grand Rapids honors late President Ford on birthday

Gerald R. Ford
A wreath-laying ceremony takes place outside the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum to mark what would've been the president's 104th birthday.


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Grand Rapids remembered the late President Gerald R. Ford Friday, on what would have been his 104th birthday.

The president’s daughter, Susan Ford Bales, was among those who honored Ford during a wreath laying ceremony Friday morning. Five wreaths were placed at the president’s tomb outside the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum downtown, including one from President Donald Trump.

Officials say the ceremony was inspired by the tradition of laying a wreath at each gravesite or tomb of the 39 late presidents.

Former President Ford and his wife Betty wave to the audience during the Republican National Convention at the Houston Astrodome, Thursday, August 20, 1992. (AP Photo/David Longstreath)

“Mrs. Ford, as Susan indicated, asked that a special tradition for her be linked to the presidential tradition. This is the 11th year that we have sought to carry out her wishes,” said Greg Willard, former Ford assistant and trustee of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation.

In honor of President Ford, the presidential museum will offer free admission to all visitors until 5 p.m. Friday.

Earlier in the day, the Gerald R. Ford International Airport also passed out free popsicles and ice cream at its viewing park to celebrate the president’s birthday.