President Ford Eulogized in National Cathedral

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At events in Washington, D.C., and Grand Rapids, Mich., the nation remembers former President Gerald R. Ford, who died last week at the age of 93.

Early Tuesday, the former president's body was carried from the Capitol Rotunda, where he lay in state for three days, and brought down a marble hall by military pallbearers to lie outside the Senate chamber.

The stop was a tribute to Mr. Ford's love of Congress, an institution where he spent most of his political life. Then, in a departure ceremony reflecting his arrival Saturday on the House side, the flag-draped casket was brought out the Senate side to the top of a long flight of stairs. There the former president was honored with a 21-gun salute

Waiting below was Betty, Ford's wife of 58 years, and other family members. Honorary pallbearers, including many who had served in the Ford White House, such as former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, stood at attention, their hands over their hearts. The stairs were lined on both sides with a military cordon.

Slowly the casket was brought down to the waiting hearse, as the U.S. Navy Band played the hymm "Abide with Me." The Ford family had asked that some of the more formal trappings, such as a horse-drawn caisson, be excluded from this presidential funeral. But much of the ceremonial pomp remained.

There were few spectators as the motorcade made its way toward the National Cathedral, although white-gloved police officers stationed along the way saluted as the hearse went by.

The procession passed slowly by the White House, but did not stop. While the motorcade was en route, the cathedral bells tolled 38 times in honor of the 38th president. At the Cathedral, the casket was greeted once more with military honors. And Episcopalian Bishop John Bryson Chane received the former president's body with a prayer.

Pam Fessler provides an overview of the day's events in Washington, and we hear details of the funeral service at the National Cathedral from Melissa Block.



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