America's 38th president, Gerald R. Ford (R) has passed away at age 93. The sad news comes Tuesday night. Given his age and considerable health problems of the last few years, it shouldn't come as a shock. But the passing of a president always calls for a moment to reflect and to show some respect.
In the wake of bribery and tax evasion charges, President Nixon's first vice president was forced to resign. He tapped Ford to step in largely because of his reputation for decency. And of course, when President Nixon resigned over the Watergate scandal in 1974, it fell to then appointed-President Ford to clean up the mess. Throw in the after affects of the Vietnam War, and he had quite a job on his hands.
In one of the more extraordinary post-presidential friendships, President Ford had a great working relationship with the man that defeated him for the presidency in 1976, Jimmy Carter. The two served on boards and commissions together. And they each participated in numerous studies and talks presented by the presidential libraries of both men.
As the first line of President Carter's ignaugural address said, thank you, President Ford, "for all you have done to heal our land."