Ford, President Gerald, Presidential Medal of Freedom, 1999
Statement on the accomplishments of the century and hopes for the future
"By any accounting, this has been a remarkable century. During its course, we have seen the blessings of liberty extended at last to African-Americans, to women, and to other minorities who were too long neglected or victimized. We have won two world wars and a Cold War. We overcame the nearly catastrophic economic depression of the 1930s. Our generation destroyed Jim Crow, split the atom, eliminated the scourge of polio, conquered outer space, invented jazz and the computer.
"Amidst all that is new, however, may we never discard those ancient
values - courage and compassion, integrity and reverence for things seen
and unseen - that have made America a historic refuge for the world's oppressed. Our fondest hope for the new Millennium is that we realize the promise, older than the republic itself, of a land without limits, as generous as it is inclusive."