In many ways this statue typifies the man. The Boy Scouts of America are a treasured national institution, an institution which teaches the kind of sturdy character, and forthright life grounded firmly in the soil and history of the United States that most Americans think of as typical of our people. He was the kind of president for whom Jefferson hoped, a man who knew better than to imagine himself a kind of king, if only for a few years.
Jefferson, himself could never quite "pull it off." He believed all the right things, but he could not escape his own time, circumstances or upbringing. He was an upper class gentleman through and through. He tried. He tried. After his first inaugural, he deliberately walked in the dirt of Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House, surrounded by children and tradesmen. He struck down the abomination of the "Alien and Sedition Act," and freed the newspapermen who had been imprisoned by the previous administration. He wrote the "Kentucky Resolutions," a perpetual manifesto against aristocratic, centralizing government. Personally, I think he was the greatest of all Americans. Yes, I know all about Sally Hemings. I hope they were happy together.
Gerald Ford was in many ways the fulfillment of Jefferson’s belief of what the president should be. He was dutiful, honest, modest, humble, courageous, decent and a true citizen/magistrate. He and his family lived for many, many years in Alexandria, Virginia in a unpretentious brick house set in the "Clover" neighborhood of the town. He and his wife were noted in the town for their participation in the civic life of the city, their devotion to Alexandria’s public schools (which their children all attended) and their constant involvement in charitable works. They were well loved in the neighborhood where they lived throughout the years in which he served in the House of Representatives, as Vice President of the United States and for ten days as President of the United States.
Alexandria was the home of George Washington, Robert E. Lee, Werner von Braun and many other people of note.
We Alexandrians are proud to call Gerald Ford our neighbor. pl