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Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Gerald Ford: A Michigan Man to the Very End


The body of former President and U-M alum Gerald Ford was flown to his hometown of Grand Rapids Tuesday where he will be buried today.

On the way, Air Force One, the plane carrying his flag-draped coffin, made a slight detour...circling over Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor. Ford was a stand-out on the Michigan football team, playing center from 1932 to 1935.

In addition, during the 25 minute ceremony at the airport that bears his name, the Michigan Marching Band - just returned from Pasadena on a red-eye - was on hand to not only play "Hail to the Chief" for the 38th President of the United States but also the U-M fight song, "The Victors," as well as the alma mater, "The Yellow and Blue," thus marking the second time in two days the band performed at a Wolverine funeral.

20 comments:

IC said...

Great final line, Yost.

I'm sure many M fans were like me when the game ended on Sunday, paraphrasing President Ford by saying, "Our long annual bowl nightmare is over."

IC said...

One more note on Ford and his love for the University of Michigan: There is no one in the history of the U.S. presidency who has honored his alma mater as clearly and genuinely as Gerald Ford honored Michigan. That speaks volumes about the uniquely great qualities of both the man and the school.

Kirbdaddy said...

Ouch, that last line hurt!!!

Anonymous said...

Most of the other prez's went to Yale or Harvard. Both those school's alums reek with entitlement and the alums don't seem to reciprocate love back like alums of other schools do.

Can't spell Lloyd without 2 "L's" said...

zwIt's too bad President Ford passed away when he did. If he had only lived 1 more week, he could have issued a full, free, and absolute pardon to Michigan for their shitty bowl performance.

Rest in Peace, Mr. President.

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:00 -- So true!

Hornet1978 said...

God Bless President Ford and God Bless the Michigan Marching Band for going to Grand Rapids after just arriving home. That picture just gave me goosebumps.

Lichty said...

Perhaps Ford would have denied the domination of USC over Michigan like he denied the Soviet domination over Eastern Europe in his debate with the worst president ever.

RIP Michigan Man.

Zippy said...

The flyover is so cool, but AF1 should have towed a banner for that authentic game day experience (ideally one saying "Fire Millen").

Chadwick said...

Lichty,

Before you start handing out worst president ever awards, maybe you should do a little research. President Carter may not have been a great president, but there are certainly a few who were worse. Take James Buchanan who failed to uphold the oath of office by failing to defend the Constitution of the United States. He allowed the south to openly rebel and left the problem for Lincoln.

Rest in Peace President Ford. Thanks for representing both Michigan and the University of Michigan.

JinLA said...

The band took the red-eye flight, but they still should have been plenty rested. Below is an open letter I sent to Revelli Hall:

Dear Band Officers,
As a Michigan Marching Band alumnus, I am always extremely anxious when the University of Michigan makes the trip to the Rosebowl. Regardless of the outcome of the football game, I have many fond memories of watching and listening to the Marching Band at the Rosebowl.
This year was different. Although the halftime show was an excellent performance, the silence of the band throughout the game was astonishing. Especially the entire second half; when the team and crowd needed you the most. I vividly recall game days played under George Cavender, when band members would be physically drained because we were playing so often. And the crowd was emotionally with us all the time.
Not only did the football team arrive at the game not ready to play, it appears that the band was similarly unprepared.
I know you can do better.

Ali Haji-Sheikh said...

yeah, great final line Cowherd, errr Yost!

Yost said...

lol, AHS.

Brian Buchalski said...

just wanted to let anonymous know that ford (like "most presidents") also managed to attend yale.

very sad to lose president ford...and maybe not a coincidence that michigan lost two of its most respected "michigan men" practically on the eve of its two biggest games (both losses).

i suspect that 2006 will go down as one of the most bittersweet sesaons in wolverine football history.

DW said...

we took a 1am redeye after one of the most physically exhausting days a band can go through. a 4am wake up call, a 6-mile parade, a tough pregame and halftime show performance and then a 1am flight to grand rapids. once we were there, it was straight to rehearsal then playing for Ford once the plane landed. the members of this band (not the entire band but only 150 members) realized the strenuous situation they'd be signing up for but chose to do it anyway knowing the importance.

Yost said...

Hats off to you guys, DW.

Sundawg said...

Ford debated "W"? When did that happen?

Great man; sad loss.

crock said...

dw -
thanks for your loyalty....
job well done.

dkneebone said...

I think that it was great that they were there. I wonder who foot the bill for that. Somehow its taxpayers money

Jeremy said...

Picking nits here, but it's only Air Force One if it's carrying a sitting President.