Tuesday, January 02, 2007

It's Not Every Day You Meet The US President

Over thirty years ago I stood, with my parents, amid crowds of people spectating the commissioning of the humungous US Aircraft Carrier, 'Nimitz' at Norfolk Naval base Virginia. Making his way through the crowds was stand-in President, Gerald Ford who was filling the boots of a disgraced Nixon ousted the previous year in '74. Ford died this week. I didn't know much about him when he stopped and commented on my obvious out of place English accent and shook my hand. Reading some of the comments in the papers and in the obituaries there is a breath of fresh air with regard to that famous office.

He never did get elected in '77, some would say it was because he 'pardoned' Nixon, (or maybe it was a dodgy trade off?). But this action won praise from his former chief of staff Dick Cheney as he commented; (Ford) "was almost alone in understanding that there can be no healing without pardon."

In an age when votes are bought with short term goals and ego's fuelled with wars that aren't our own, oh to have politicians remembered for marks of healing and for forgiveness.

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