GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - Two Sunday events in Grand Rapids honored the centennial anniversary of President Gerald Ford's birth on July 14, 1913.
Hundreds gathered at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and Museum for events to pay respect to a man whose contributions to our country are far more appreciated today than they were during the turbulent times he was in office. First, presidential wreath-laying ceremony was held at Ford's tomb.
Later, a scale model of the USS Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier, which is still under construction in Newport News, Virginia, was unveiled at its new home in the museum lobby.
The man who will serve as the real ship's first captain said the model is exceptional.
"The model's impressive. I've seen a lot of models in my day, but this model has all of the working lights. If you look in the hangar bay of the model, you'll also notice that there are aircraft parked in the hangar bay. The lights are on and there's equipment hanging off the side of the hangar bay. It's as true-to-scale a model as I've ever seen in my life," Capt. John Meier said.
The 1,092-foot USS Gerald R. Ford is expected to be delivered to the U.S. Navy in 2015, according to the Associated Press. It will replace the USS Enterprise.
Once it becomes the nation's 11th-in-service aircraft carrier, it will carry thousands of servicemen and women and protect our country with the latest state of the art technology on board.
"I think he would be unbelievable impressed with how the technology has changed," Ford's daughter Susan Ford Bales said of her father. "My dad was a humble man and he never ever expected an aircraft carrier to be named after him. I think he would just be really humbled by it."
The model is now on display at the museum.
Meanwhile, PBS stations in Michigan on Sunday will broadcast a documentary that chronicles the documentary, "Black and Blue: The Story of Gerald Ford, Willis Ward and the 1934 Michigan-Georgia Tech Football Game." The film chronicles the Georgia Tech football team's refusal to take the field at Michigan because the Wolverines had a black player who was Ford's friend.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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