Gerald R. Ford photo

Remarks at a Parade in Cleveland, Ohio

October 28, 1976

Well, let me express to the three wonderful young ladies here my appreciation for the opportunity of participating in this wonderful occasion. I know that the bread comes from the fruits of your labor and that the salt comes from the sweat of your brow, and I am deeply grateful for this expression of your friendship and your hospitality. And may I express to all of you, the three of you and the others, my deep, deep gratitude for this opportunity to have this honor. I thank you very, very much.

Let me add a few words to what I have said. As I had the privilege of having the bread and the salt, and as I said to the three fine women that made it opportune for me to do so, I know the significance--that the bread is the fruit of your labor and the salt is the sweat of your brow, and the participation in it is an indication of your friendship and your hospitality.

Well, I am delighted to be here in the Karlin Hall area, and I thank you very, very much. As we came down that Fleet Street highway, the opportunity to see so many wonderful people, something that I was taught in Sunday school at a very early age came to my mind. A Sunday school teacher told me that the beauty of Joseph's coat is its many colors. All of us who make up America today, 215 million of us, come from all kinds of backgrounds, but we are all Americans, and the fact that we are makes America great.

America stands for freedom here in the United States. Our Constitution protects our freedom. Our Government has an obligation to make certain that we have freedom, liberty in America. But in addition, America is the symbol of freedom for people all over the world, and we are going to keep it that way. But in order for America to be not only the symbol but the hope for freedom and liberty around the world, America must remain strong militarily, we must stay number one, and we will under a Ford administration.

I think all of you know that it costs money for us to have the best Army, the best Navy, the best Air Force, and the best Marine Corps. But let me say, the fact that we are number one encourages our allies to stand tall and strong with us and, at the same time, is a warning to our adversaries they hadn't better try to fool around with America. America will meet any challenge anywhere, any place, any time, because we are strong, and we are going to stay strong.

But in order for us to do this, we have to have a strong economy at home. A little over 2 years ago, I was privileged to become your President. We had tough times. Inflation was over 12 percent; we were on the brink of a recession; there had been a loss of faith and trust in the White House; and we were still involved in Vietnam.

But we kept the Ship of State on an even keel. We set a steady course. And the net result is there has been a restoration of faith and trust in the White House. I have been open, candid, frank; I shoot straight from the shoulder, and the consequence is the American people trust the President of the United States.

We have reduced inflation from 12 percent to under 6 percent. We are getting more jobs in America. But I won't be satisfied until everybody who wants a job, who wants to work, has a job in the United States.

But now let us think about the future security of this country--strong economy at home, peace in the world, peace through strength, and hope and vision and expectation for those people around the world who look at America. So our job is to make sure that America is there for their hopes, for their vision, for freedom and liberty.

Thank you very, very much.

Note: The President spoke at 6:14 p.m. at the Fleet Avenue Parade Site.

Gerald R. Ford, Remarks at a Parade in Cleveland, Ohio Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

Filed Under





Simple Search of Our Archives