The Navy will name its next aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford in honor of the president who was laid to rest Wednesday in his hometown of Grand Rapids, Mich., officials said.

The Navy had not planned to make the announcement yet, but Donald H. Rumsfeld, the former defense secretary who served in the Ford administration, divulged the news during his eulogy at the funeral.

"How fitting it would be that the name Gerald R. Ford will patrol the high seas for decades to come in defense of the nation he loved so much," he said.

Later at the Pentagon, the Navy confirmed that it would make an official announcement "in a few weeks." It said it was still working on details of the ceremony with members of the Ford family.

Ford served in the Navy during World War II.