The United States honored Gerald R. Ford in funeral ceremonies Saturday that recalled the touchstones of his life, from combat in the Pacific to a career he cherished in Congress to a presidency he did not seek.
He was remembered as the man called to heal the country from the trauma of Watergate.
Ford's decision to pardon Richard Nixon, so divisive at the time that it probably cost him the 1976 presidential election, was dealt with squarely in his funeral services by his old chief of staff, Vice President Dick Cheney.
"It was this man, Gerald R. Ford, who led our republic safely though a crisis that could have turned to catastrophe," said Cheney, speaking in the Capitol Rotunda where Ford's body rested. "Gerald Ford was almost alone in understanding that there can be no healing without pardon."
Hundreds of ordinary Americans lined up for a chance to view the closed, flag-draped casket of the 38th president late into the night and through the weekend.