Last Saturday officials laid the keel of the first of the new class of aircraft carriers, CVN-78, to be named USS Gerald R. Ford. The Gerald R. Ford class of aircraft carriers replaces the Nimitz class, first commissioned in 1975.
Gerald Ford was a guy who always stepped up when no one else would.
During his Naval service in WWII on the USS Monterey a fire broke out as a result of a typhoon. Admiral Halsey ordered Captain Ingersoll to abandon ship. Instead Captain Ingersoll ordered Ford to lead a fire brigade below. After five hours he and his team had put out the fire.
In 1964 when LBJ led a landslide victory, Ford was approached to be House Minority Leader. He accepted.
In 1973 when Vice President Spiro Agnew resigned Ford was tagged as the replacement.
In 1974 when President Nixon resigned Ford assumed the presidency. One month later he pardoned Nixon, with the full knowledge that it would doom his presidency and any chance at reelection. But it was the right thing to do so that the country could move on from an extremely difficult time.
For this controversial, but selfless and patriotic move he was lauded with praise by Jimmy Carter during his inaugural speech. The two opponents went on to be pals using their presidential gravitas to accomplish much. In 2001 Ford received the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award for the Nixon pardon.
President Ford has done so much for this country, naming an aircraft carrier seems like the least we can do for him.