[QODLink]
Americas
US mourns Gerald Ford
Six days of national mourning has got under way for the former US president.
Last Modified: 30 Dec 2006 13:17 GMT
Ford died on Tuesday, aged 93 [AFP]

Six days of national mourning for Gerald Ford have begun with military honours and a simple family prayer service at the former US president's parish church.
 
Members of the public waited for hours for a chance to pay respects before the his body left California for the last time.

Former first lady Betty Ford, 88, and her children watched as uniformed enlisted men from the army, navy, air force, coast guard and marines carried Ford's flag-draped coffin into St Margaret's Episcopal Church, which the Fords attended for 30 years after retiring from Washington.

Homage

 

During the service a marine band played the hymn O God Our Help in Ages Past and a sailor honoured Ford's naval service by carrying an ebony staff flying the presidential seal.

 

The private family service was followed by a visitation for invited friends including George Shultz, the former secretary of state, Jack Kemp, a former congressman, and a former California governor, Pete Wilson. When it ended, Ford's widow left in a motorcade headed back to the Ford home in the neighbouring city of Rancho Mirage.

 

Later, Ford's widow will board a Boeing 747 and accompany her husband's body across the nation for two services in Washington, DC, and his burial in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on January 3.

 

Ford died on Tuesday at the age of 93. He became president when Richard Nixon resigned in 1974 amid the Watergate scandal, but was defeated by Jimmy Carter in the 1976 election.

 

He was a Republican congressman from Michigan when Nixon named him vice-president after Spiro Agnew resigned in 1973.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Featured on Al Jazeera
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
More than one-quarter of Gaza's population has been displaced, causing a humanitarian crisis.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Featured
Influential independence figure has been key in promoting Scottish nationalism, but will his efforts succeed?
Teenage phenom with quick hands and a passion for boxing has reminded many of the great Filipino fighter at a young age.
Families of Britons killed in 2013 siege at gas plant in Algeria frustrated by inquiry delay over 'sensitive' materials.
Rhinoceros beetles once drew 40,000 visitors each year to Tamura city, but nuclear disaster has decimated beetle mania.
In run-up to US midterm elections, backers of immigration law changes disappointed by postponement of executive action.
join our mailing list