Saturday, December 30, 2006

Close Encounters with Dead Presidents

I am cold.

I just spent the last hour standing down at the corner of our street, watching the motorcade(s) bearing the body of Gerald Ford drive by.

They flew into Andrews Air Force Base, and since the Fords had lived in Alexandria for eighteen years, until he was President, the family requested the motorcade come up through Alexandria rather than go up the freeway into the city to the Capitol.

Lots of my neighbors came. We took the dogs, as did many others.

There were about thirty motorcycles total, two hearses (in case one broke down), police from the District, Alexandria, Pentagon Police, the uniformed branch of the Secret Service, Capitol Police, countless Secret Service SUVs, probably fifty limosines and Town Car-ish black cars, the ceremonial ambulance bringing up the rear.

It is easy to become jaded about this stuff when you live here, because it is relatively common. But there have only been 43 men ever to do this, and only a few of them are alive at any time.

Just a bit of history.

2 comments:

pooks said...

I would definitely have been with you. I'm feeling a little sad that there'll be no state funeral, but I respect the family's desire not to.

pooks said...

Oh -- there WILL be a state funeral. Good.