from Collections at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and Museum
By Kristin Mooney, Public Relations
There are many meaningful artifacts on exhibit at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum. When I was asked to write about just one I thought it would be impossible to choose, but in fact it was quite easy. There is always one section of the exhibits I like to stop and focus on during any tour I am leading.
Pictured is a uniform and medals returned to President Ford in protest of his decision to grant clemency to those who dodged the draft during the Vietnam War. While giving a speech on August 12, 1974 Ford said, "I believe in the decency and fairness of America." One week later it was announced that the President had put in place a program to help those draft dodgers return to the United States. The plan required that all participants volunteer for a 2 year period in some form of alternative service and pledge alliance once again to the United States of America.