Author Topic: Tribute to a great man + discussion  (Read 2149 times)

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Offline Michael

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Tribute to a great man + discussion
« on: January 02, 2007, 10:20:32 pm »
First let me start off by saying I know that this post is a bit American-centric and I'm aware that there are both members of this forum and L-E who are not American.  However I would like to mention that it's not my intention to isolate the context of this post to Americans only and that you don't have to be of a person's same nationality in order to pay tribute to him or her.

Anyways, back on topic:

As many may already know, former U.S. President Gerald R. Ford died at the age of 93 on December 26th. Because many others like myself can't go in person to pay our respects to the former President, I've decided to make a post on the forum where people can do so, as well as discuss their thoughts and opinions of Mr. Ford.

Anyways, over the last few days I've read and researched much about the life, presidency, and history surrounding the former President. I admit that I didn't know very much about this man until after his death, which I now regret. However from what I now know, I would briefly like to touch on my thoughts and opinions on a couple of things in addition to my tribute to Mr. Ford.

First, by far the biggest controversies surrounding Mr. Ford's presidency was the pardoning of former President Richard Nixon in the aftermath of the Watergate scandal. I for one agree that, although a tough decision, it was the right one. To me, Mr. Ford's decision has shown me that he REALLY cared about the what was best for the country at the time, as well as the country's future. It also showed me that he was a man who could stick to his own beliefs and defy popular opinion despite extreme pressure. This to me takes balls and I admire him for that.

Secondly, I was touched by not just his compassion and love for his country, but for human kind in general. What makes me feel this way? Well his decision to evacuate not just Americans but Vietnamese and foreigners during the fall of Saigon in 1975, despite the advice of officials to only evacuate Americans. Also, his involvement and participation in "Operation Babylift", which resulted in the evacuation and adoption of over 2,000 infants and children in harms way from Vietnam. Being a Korean American adoptee who has been given a loving American family and a chance to have a better life in the U.S., I feel overwhelming respect and gratitude for Mr. Ford. His actions gave many children and future generations a chance to have a better life, just like I have been fortunate to.

May I note that although political scientists categorize Mr. Ford in the middle of the pack in terms of the best and worst U.S. Presidents, and mediocre in terms of his Presidency and presidential potential/capability... he WAS NEVER ELECTED. I repeat, Gerald Ford is the only unelected President, and Vice President for that matter, to hold office.

Being only 1 month till my 20th birthday, I was not alive to experience firsthand his presidency, nor the political turmoil and chaos prior to his presidency. Thus, I realize that I'm not fully qualified to give commentary on his life or act as if I knew the man, however I AM entitled to my opinion which I hope that this thread will encourage other members here to as well.

Anyways, I close my post with a tribute to a man of genuine integrity and heart, Gerald R. Ford the 38th U.S. President. May he rest in peace.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2007, 10:27:29 pm by Michael »

Offline tlynnec

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Re: Tribute to a great man + discussion
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2007, 05:50:22 am »
Michael, thank you for posting such an eloquent tribute.

I too am greatly touched by the work Ford did during his term of office, and indeed his entire political career.  May you rest in peace, Mr. President.
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