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Gerald Ford Remembered As Statesman, Man of Integrity

Former President Gerald Ford was remembered Wednesday by President Bush as a "great American" who spent "the best years of his life" serving the U.S. VOA's Jim Bertel has more on reaction to the death of America's 38th president.

Gerald Ford's death has prompted an outpouring of emotion from people across the nation who admired his dedicated service to his country.

Speaking to the nation on Wednesday, President Bush remembered the former president as the right man to pull the nation together following the resignation of President Richard Nixon in 1974.

"For a nation that needed healing, and for an office that needed a calm and steady hand, Gerald Ford came along when we needed him most," he said.

The president went on to say that Mr. Ford will always have a "special place in our nation's memory." "During his time in office, the American people came to know President Ford as a man of complete integrity who led our country with common sense and kind instincts," he said.

Vice President Cheney, who was Mr. Ford's White House chief of staff, said President Ford gave the country strength, wisdom and good judgment during the United States' greatest constitutional crisis since the Civil War, and restored the public's trust in the presidency.

Former President Jimmy Carter - who defeated Mr. Ford in the 1976 election - described his former rival as an outstanding statesman who "frequently rose above politcs" to seek common ground on issues critical to the U.S.

Nancy Reagan, the widow of late President Ronald Reagan, praised Mr. Ford for his "vast" dedication to the country.