On July 14, 2019, the annual Wreath Laying Ceremony was held at the Tomb of President Gerald R. Ford, marking the 106th anniversary of his birth. USS Gerald R. Ford crew member LTJG Nick Spaleny from Kalamazoo, Michigan provided the keynote address. LTJG Spanleny was joined by Foundation Trustees, staff of the Foundation and Museum, as well as friends from throughout Western Michigan.
A wreath was presented from President Donald J. Trump. In addition, wreaths were presented on behalf of the Crew of USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation and Trustees, Children and Grandchildren of President Gerald R. Ford, and Representatives of Local Law Enforcement.
The program for the Wreath Laying Ceremony included: Presentation of the Colors by the President Ford Field Service Council, Boy Scouts of America; National Anthem by Dr. Stephen Barton, Director of Choral Activities at Grand Rapids Community College; Pledge of Allegiance by ETN2 Dakota Jarvis, Vincent Highland, Alexander Highland, Lucas Highland, and Rick Highland; Invocation by Rev. Stephen Holmgren from Grace Episcopal Church; Program Summary by ABEC Jeremy Stoecklein; and Benediction by Major Glen Caddy from The Salvation Army.
Welcome remarks were delivered by Trustee Susan Ford Bales, daughter of Gerald and Betty Ford. Before remarks by LTJG Spaleny, a thirty-eight second silent tribute was held, followed by “Echo Taps”.