I am saddened by the death of former President Gerald R. Ford, who ably served our country following the tumultuous days of the Watergate scandal.

He also led the nation through the end of the U.S. involvement in Vietnam, the mediation of a cease-fire between Israel and Egypt, the signing of the Helsinki human rights convention with the Soviet Union and the signing of an arms limitation agreement with then-Soviet President Leonid Brezhnev.

As a U.S. Congressman, he will be remembered for his vote for the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and for his opposition to the poll tax that helped open the doors of equality for future generations.

My thoughts and prayers are with his wife Mrs. Betty Ford and the entire Ford family during this difficult time.

President Ford will be missed.