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Veloise

Gerald R. Ford Burial Services in Grand Rapids

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WOODTV just reported that the Ford Foundation has given estimates of 200 - 400,000 people will come for the burial, and they've been planning for it with local business leaders for at least two years. I would imagine there will be a lot of dignitaries there. Anyone know what day the burial will be? I read something about "within 5 days of his death".

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I'm hoping an exact agenda (dates, times) is given soon for when everything will be happening. I hope to get a few days off work for this.

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I'm hoping an exact agenda (dates, times) is given soon for when everything will be happening. I hope to get a few days off work for this.

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So now I need to decide on if I should take Tuesday off of work, or Wed. (I'd like both, but its not possible). Any estimates out there yet at about how long one will have to wait in line. I know viewing starts Tuesday at 3:30, but I have a feeling the line will be very long by that time, and one will probably have to be in line that morning already. Or do people think it will be better to work Tuesday, and do the viewing on Wed?

What are your thoughts?

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I'm thinking of doing the viewing Tuesday after work and then watching the procession Wednesday from Grace to downtown. I have a step brother in the local military (reserve) and they are handling a lot of the details. He's already been assigned to escort 'dignitaries' so we can be sure there will be some important people in town for the next few days.

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The complete schedule of events is posted on WZZM 13 (I'm completely stunned on their coverage on Ford, it was fantastic).

  • Friday 12:20PM - Prayer service and a private ceremony for family and invited guestsSt. Margaret's Episcopal Church in Palm Desert

  • Friday 4:00PM - Public will be able to pay their respects.

  • Saturday 9:00AM - Ford's casket will leave for Washington.

  • Saturday 5:20PM - Plane should arrive at Andrews Air Force Base.

  • Saturday 7:00PM - State funeral in the Rotunda, Ford will lie in state until Tuesday. No hours were released, but the public will be able to pay their respects.

  • Tuesday 10:30AM - Washington National Cathedral funeral. Then the casket will be taken to the Gerald R. Ford Museum in Grand Rapids where he lie in repose.

  • Tuesday Late Afternoon - Gerald R. Ford Museum - Public will be able to pay their respects.

  • Wednesday 2:00PM - Family Service at Grace Episcopal Church

  • Wednesday Late Afternoon - Ford will be interred at a site just north of the museum grounds.

  • President Bush said there will be a period of national mourning for 30 days.

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The complete schedule of events is posted on WZZM 13 (I'm completely stunned on their coverage on Ford, it was fantastic).

http://www.wzzm13.com/news/fordmemorial.aspx

And take a look at this story. I would expect many high-profile government people (like other presidents) to forget their old classmates from high school, but Ford never forgot them, even if he didn't exactly know them very well. Just shows how thoughtful and caring Ford was. Why can't every President be like him?

http://www.wzzm13.com/news/fordfullstory.aspx?storyid=67590

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The silver lining with all of this is the burial will bring quite a few people to Grand Rapids who would probably not have visited otherwise. Something like this could show the world how impressive of a place Grand Rapids is, and I am sure that many will see the available opportunities still out there.

Ford worked hard for Grand Rapids during his 25 years as Congressman, now he will once again have the power and influence to invoke amazing opportunities on our wonderful city.

Politics aside, based on all the reports those who knew him and worked with him said that he had integrity, devotion to his country, and an extremely welcoming personality. Regardless on what people think of his achievements, his personality alone is a reason to honor him.

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Pics from last night:

ford-2.jpg

ford-1.jpg

ford-5.jpg

ford-3.jpg

Also overheard from the previously-cited conversation: Streets Dept wanted to use the portable gate-fencing at RPC to provide crowd control at GRFM. It was pointed out that this would put the ice rink out of business until next week; they were told to go rent whatever fencing they needed.

I rang up the WMCVB and suggested that they take materials a block down the street to the media trucks, if not set up a visitor's booth. "Oh, the Chamber of Commerce is assembling 200 media packets. They came and picked up brochures from us." Fine for next week. What about now?

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If any of you are the scanner listening types, I imagine GRPD will be doing some emergency drills here over the next few days that might be interesting to listen to.

/just saying

//heard all leaves canceled, all cars being rushed into duty

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Ran into TPTB (DDA) a few minutes ago. He mentioned the ongoing struggle to get the pedestrian bridge lights back up ever since A Large Development East of the River came on-line. The word came down this week: stop arguing, get the lights fixed.

I would think that the seawall is next.

Anyone care to speculate on the economic impact? I picked up a handful of menus from my favorite Monroe Center eateries and rode them down (hi Rachel!) to the media trucks...where evidence of take-out pizza was apparent.

On the way back I talked to a Streets fellow putting up a <--P sign. He said that there are more coming.

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Do you think someone will exercise executive power and at least get the existing crumbled seawall "removed" by Tuesday?

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When Reagan died there were people lining the freeways. Though it seemed pretty spontaneous in that people in the oncoming lanes just stopped and pulled over. It didn't seem like organized groups of people purposely going to the freeway to watch the funeral procession. Though I would bet people on side streets were there specifically to see him go by.

Anyway, I doubt we'll be seeing quite the reaction Reagan got, but hopefully there will be a good turnout.

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In California, yes?

Dang it was cold last night. I've been experimenting with adjusting my settings, which produces better pics, but that takes a few extra seconds per shot, and DANG it was cold.

One of the TV stations rented a small portable fire pit deal thing (Part-Tee Rentals R Us should do well) and I spent a long time standing by it.

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Entrepreneurial Idea!

Sell hot cocoa and hot apple cider to the news people camped out at the museum!

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Back on a lighter note....

I don't think we should create a "fake super-polished" look downtown; I like how the old, new, and still-a-little-rusty look blends. I think the number of cranes show progress, that Grand Rapids is on the move in the right direction.

EGR City signs have red, white, and blue ribbons; I think it would nice to have more of those along the route to Grace.

Has anyone decided on where they are going to stand on the route to Grace? I think I'm going to be around Plymouth/Alexander, since this is the area where I grew up.

On another note, I will honestly say that I'm quite drawn to everything going on around President Ford's passing and funeral arrangements. From listening to NPR, to going by his childhood home on Union, to paying my respects at the Ford Museum (3 times so far), to watching the news; I'm there watching, listening, and learning. This truly is a historic time for GR.........

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I think it would be nice if one of our great local cafes donated coffee.

I think it would nice if all the cranes waved American Flags.

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Sounds like Rumsfeld, Cheney and Jimmy Carter are planning on attending the burial here:

http://www.woodtv.com/Global/story.asp?S=5867316

400 National Guard troops will arrive at the AGP tomorrow:

http://www.woodtv.com/Global/story.asp?S=5866159

And the local weather forecast:

forecast_510.jpg

I think it would be nice if there was snow on the ground.

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Has anyone decided on where they are going to stand on the route to Grace? I think I'm going to be around Plymouth/Alexander, since this is the area where I grew up.

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From the Ford Museum this afternoon:

337681922_52894e67e0_o.jpg

337682041_4db28cf9de_o.jpg

Make-shift memorial:

337681735_8bb392f1a6_o.jpg

337681847_0315870f11_o.jpg

The burial site:

337682220_6d3f840478_o.jpg

Note the "2006" year-of-death has already been put in place:

337682127_c455f14bbc_o.jpg

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So now I need to decide on if I should take Tuesday off of work, or Wed. (I'd like both, but its not possible). Any estimates out there yet at about how long one will have to wait in line. I know viewing starts Tuesday at 3:30, but I have a feeling the line will be very long by that time, and one will probably have to be in line that morning already. Or do people think it will be better to work Tuesday, and do the viewing on Wed?

What are your thoughts?

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Okay, let's move on and re-focus.....

Was anyone down at the Amway Grand tonight? I thought at first on my way down to the Memorial, "look at all these young people here to pay respects", only to find out that the Amway was hosting a youth group conference.

Walking over the pedestrian bridge I saw how Fox News and NBC have their posts marked.

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