It was the memorial service for Hubert Humphrey, long-time senator from Minnesota, and previous candidate for nomination as the Democratic candidate for US President. The church was packed with dignitaries, but one man stood alone and shunned by most of the congregation. Richard M. Nixon. Only a few years before he had resigned as the President of the United States, and although given a pardon by Gerald Ford he was still regarded by many as a "crook". It was his first visit to Washington since that fateful day when he departed the White House in a Marine helicopter. Then-President Jimmy Carter entered the building and greeted friends and colleagues warmly until he noticed Nixon standing off in the distance. He walked to him, took his hand and then embraced him, saying for all to hear "Welcome Home, Mr. President."
That simple act was the turning point in the "come-back" for Mr. Nixon and a period of true forgiveness that allowed him to be regarded as one of the elder statesmen of the country until his death.
Last updated 99/01/12
Source: Dr. Donald McKinney, Blacksburg Baptist Church, 99/01/10.