Grand Rapids, MI – Two organizations bearing President Gerald R. Ford’s name came together to celebrate a ribbon-cutting and dedication for a tribute room at the airport in the late president’s honor.
Gerald R. Ford International Airport (GFIA) and Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation officials joined President Gerald R. Ford’s son, Steve Ford, Joan Secchia representing the Secchia Family Foundation, and Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation Airport Tribute Room Chairman Fred Keller, for the official opening of the President Gerald R. Ford Tribute Room.
“Dad would be extremely proud to know that the foundation and the airport that bear his name came together to honor him with this tribute room,” said Steve Ford. “He loved growing up in Grand Rapids, and it is humbling to know that he will always have a place to be remembered. This tribute room at the Gerald R. Ford International Airport is a terrific place for generations that knew my father to spend time reflecting on the past, but also for future generations to learn about what he meant to our country and to West Michigan.”
The airport worked with the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation to incorporate an exhibit space dedicated to the 38th President, which is located pre-security as a part of the newly renovated Gateway Transformation Project. The exhibit includes photos, an aircraft carrier model, displays, and rotating historical pieces.
“Jerry would not have wanted this much attention on him, but I know he would be proud of this tribute room, and honored that so many came to celebrate his legacy,” said Secchia. “It was important for those of us that knew him well to give him full recognition in a space that bears his name. We appreciate this partnership with the airport authority, and we look forward to opening this space for all visitors to enjoy.”
“When I approached Peter about having this room at the airport, it was a natural fit and he and many others that knew President Ford personally jumped on board to make this tribute room a reality,” said GFIA Board Chairman Roger Morgan. “Our Airport Board appreciates those that helped raise the funds for this space, and we are anxious to show this off to the millions of visitors that pass through our airport each year.”
The Tribute Room is open to visitors and airport patrons 24 hours a day.
The Gerald R. Ford International Airport (GFIA) is the second busiest airport in Michigan. The airport served over 2.6 million passengers in 2016 and over 7,000 travelers pass through GFIA each day. The Gerald R. Ford International Airport offers nonstop service to 24 major market destinations with more than 120 daily nonstop flights. The Gerald R. Ford International Airport is managed and operated by the Gerald R. Ford International Airport Authority. GFIA generates over $3.1 billion in annual economic output throughout West Michigan, and employs over 1,500 people. For more information on GFIA visit: www.grr.org or follow the airport on Twitter: @FlyGRFord
About the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation
The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation fosters increased awareness of the life, career, values, and legacy of America’s 38th President. It does so through activities designed to promote the high ideals of integrity, honesty, and candor that defined President Ford’s extraordinary career of public service. The Foundation promotes the ideas, values, commitment to public service and historical legacy of President Gerald R. Ford and further promotes greater civic engagement and recognition of integrity wherever it exists in the public arena. It supports permanent and changing exhibits designed to promote historical literacy; conferences; educational outreach and other programs, both scholarly and popular, including at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and Museum.