View Full Version : Ford Funeral in Grand Rapids

01-06-2007, 12:02 AM
I spent all day Wednesday downtown for President Ford's Funeral. It is so different in real life (for a common every day citizen) than what you see on TV.

It's an honor to be part of it and have it in your town, but it's not at all what you see on TV. We see the media trucks and reporters all over the place and only bits and pieces of what is going on. What is different from TV is I heard the roar of the jets. I felt the bridge I was standing on vibrate when the canons went off. I shook the hands of Steve and Mike Ford when I went to see their father's flag draped casket. I had to wait until I got home to see the private events on TV.

Here are some pictures from my perspective.

The city was packed with media trucks.

01-06-2007, 12:04 AM
More of the media trucks

01-06-2007, 12:11 AM
We waited for about 4 1/2 hours to see the casket. You weren't allowed to take pictures so I can just show you some of the lines of people. It was amazing. We were line up for a long time outside and then waited in lines in the convention center before getting to the Ford Museum.

Once there it was very moving. The Ford family was very respectful of the citizens. The honor guard was so impressive. They didn't move at all... almost didn't look like real people.

01-06-2007, 12:13 AM
In line over by the museum

01-06-2007, 12:15 AM
Media over by the Ford Museum

01-06-2007, 12:17 AM
This is a picture of people leaving the Museum after seeing the casket

01-06-2007, 12:19 AM
A sculpture of President Ford in his U of M football days

01-06-2007, 12:28 AM
Lots of uniforms. Security, police, and military people were all over the place, but it didn't have the locked down feeling that you experience if you go to a place like Washington DC.

In the background there is a space capsule used by the Apollo crews for recovery training. Roger Chaffee died when the Apollo 1 flight burned in 1967. He was also from Grand Rapids.

01-06-2007, 12:31 AM
Police were everywhere. This was their command center they set up.

01-06-2007, 12:32 AM
More people in uniforms

01-06-2007, 12:36 AM
This is the hearse as it came to the museum to get Preident Ford to take him to the church for the funeral service

01-06-2007, 12:40 AM
The procession where the casket was taken from the museum wasn't open to the public. This is what I could see through the trees with my zoom lens.

01-06-2007, 12:41 AM
The motorcade leaving to go to the church

01-06-2007, 12:42 AM
I'm tired. I'll put some more on tomorrow.

01-06-2007, 01:51 AM
Thanks for the pictures suedv. I feel like I was there with you.

01-06-2007, 10:45 AM

Great pictures. Thank you so much for posting them.


01-06-2007, 11:26 AM
Boy scouts were all over the place. President Ford was an Eagle Scout and these kids were there paying their respects.

01-06-2007, 11:28 AM
More Scouts............

01-06-2007, 11:30 AM
Security was in the air as well as on the ground

01-06-2007, 11:31 AM
This is the hotel the Fords stayed in. It's the Amway Grand Plaza.

01-06-2007, 11:34 AM
People in Grand Rapids are pretty proud of "our" President. Here is a sign in a window with a reflection of the Grand Plaza across the street. There was a large billboard on one of the expressways that said the same thing.

01-06-2007, 11:40 AM
This is view up the Grand River. The newer part of the Amway Grand Plaza is the tall sloped building on the right. Our convention center is just upstream of that on the same side of the river. It has the curved roof. On the left of the picture is part of our public museum and just beyond that an out of sight is the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum.

01-06-2007, 11:44 AM
People lined the streets as we waited for the motorcade to come back from the church for the private internment at the Ford Museum

01-06-2007, 11:46 AM
This is the hearse coming back downtown from the church. Something I found interesting is they had a spare hearse in the motorcade (it didn't have the flags or the presidential seal on it) just in case the actual hearse broke down.

01-06-2007, 11:52 AM
After the motorcade we went to this foot bridge to hear the 21 gun salute and watch the 21 F-15E fighter jets fly over downtown. I actually took this picture earlier in the afternoon when I was scoping things out to see where I could get a good view of the jets. At the time of the fly over the bridge was packed with people.

01-06-2007, 11:58 AM
The internment was a private ceremony. This is what I could see from the bridge. You could see the smoke from the canons, hear the boom, and feel the bridge vibrate. There were birds flying everywhere when the first canon went off.

01-06-2007, 12:00 PM
The fighter jets flew right over top of us. They were loud and close.

01-06-2007, 12:05 PM

awesome pics!

was just thinking.... if you have a little bit of webspace, the little program I used to create the magmania page in my signature was called XNVIEW.

you can very simply add a folder

and let it batch convert it and there's some settings when you can create a webage. Even a setting to set up an autoplay picture CD... custom slide shows... etc


01-06-2007, 12:05 PM
More of the jets

01-06-2007, 12:07 PM
This is the last picture I took of the jets. You can see it the corner of the picture that the birds were going nuts. The media forgot to warn them that they had to share the sky. :D

01-06-2007, 12:12 PM
It was getting dark, things were over, we were cold, and it was time to get stuck in traffic.

01-07-2007, 08:33 PM
And the Presidential 747 making a low pass over ann arbor


01-31-2007, 06:28 PM

01-31-2007, 09:17 PM
Sue, you did a hell of good job with this thread! Thank you!:)