Virtual events planned to honor President Ford's 107th birthday

To commemorate President Gerald R. Ford’s 107th birthday on July 14, the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation is hosting events virtually this year due to COVID-19, including Facebook Live videos of the annual wreath laying ceremony and a panel discussion regarding the first-ever children’s book about President Ford.

The commemoration begins with a Facebook Live of the wreath laying ceremony at 9 a.m. July 14, at the Gerald R. Ford and Betty B. Ford burial site on the grounds of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum.

The ceremony is a combination of two traditions. The first, a long-standing presidential tradition of observing each deceased president’s birthday, during which the sitting president sends a wreath to be presented by a military officer.

President Donald J. Trump's wreath will be placed by Brig. General Paul Rogers.

The second is a personal tribute established by first lady Betty Ford in 2007, which includes the presentation of a wreath from the Ford family.

The family’ wreath will be placed by President Ford’s nieces and nephews. Following the ceremony, the Army Chorus will honor President Ford with a virtual choral tribute. The ceremony
is available for public viewing on the foundation’s Facebook page at 9 a.m.

In addition to the wreath laying ceremony, a children’s book about President Ford will be released to the public.

“Truth and Honor: The President Ford Story,” written by Lindsey McDivitt, tells the story of President Ford at various stages in his life, from his early childhood years and his years at the University of Michigan, to his years in the Navy, Congress and then his presidency in the 1970s.

To celebrate the book’s release, the foundation will host a Facebook Live panel discussion on the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation’s Facebook page. The panel discussion begins at 7 p.m. with McDivitt, and Mike Ford and Steve Ford, sons of President Ford and Betty Ford.

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