Although President Ford was never elected to the highest office in our nation, he served in that position with dignity and honor.  He ascended to the office of President at one of the most troubling times in our nation's history.  Watergate created anger and suspicion among the public for the office he inherited while the ongoing agony over Vietnam further divided our country.

President Ford was the right person at the right time for this difficult task.  He firmly believed the constitution would work and provide the help we needed in what many called our darkest days.  His confidence proved to be correct.

President Ford visited Syracuse in the fall of 1976 during his campaign for election.  He joined my father and many other dignitaries at the Onondaga County War Memorial for a raucous campaign rally.  President Ford also campaigned with me during my first run for Congress in 1988.  I will never forget his warmth, friendship, and encouragement during this very exciting time in my life.  The picture of President Ford with my father hangs proudly in my Washington office from this memorable event.

On behalf of the constituents of the 25th district of New York I extend our deepest condolences to his wife Betty and their family.  We as a nation were well served by this admirable public servant.