THE NATIONAL DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER MEMORIAL

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The Dispatch - A Publication of the Army Navy Club
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Dwight D. Eisenhower’s place in history was forever assured on June 6, 1944, when Allied soldiers, sailors, and airmen successfully executed his plans for the largest amphibious invasion in history, storming the beaches of Normandy, not as conquerors, but as crusaders of freedom to liberate Western Europe by destroying German military forces, achieved the following year with victory in World War II.

With the passage of time, the warrior Eisenhower became an unyielding champion of peace as President. Mindful of his personal model, George Washington, he engaged the perils of the nuclear age and the challenges of space, successfully leading the country through the dangers of both as Commander in Chief.

Devoted to the values and processes of democracy as both soldier and citizen, Ike left the United States and the world a lasting legacy of peace, prosperity, and moral principles. His impact transcended his own country. He became the globally indispensable man of the twentieth century, and he was heroically beloved by “liberty-loving people” from many nations as an exemplary personification of freedom and “the American way.” 

Our challenge today is to ensure that Eisenhower’s legacy will survive the passing years and inspire future generations. No national memorial currently exists to the Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force in World War II and the 34th President of the United States — the only President to wear the uniform in both World Wars I and II.

Two combat-decorated World War II veterans, the late Senators Ted Stevens of Alaska and Daniel Inouye of Hawaii co-sponsored an Act of Congress, Public Law 106-79, in 1999, creating the Eisenhower Memorial Commission. Another combat-decorated World War II veteran, Rocco C. Siciliano, led the Commission as Chairman until Senator Pat Roberts (USMC, 1958 – 1962) assumed the Chair in 2015. Combat-decorated World War II veteran, Senator Bob Dole, leads the fundraising campaign. Together, they steered the complex memorialization process to the cusp of a groundbreaking ceremony this fall. 

Ike’s memorialization has reached this stage through the inspired and steadfast leadership of the “greatest generation.” It is time to pass the baton, to complete the mission, to ensure that future generations will be inspired by Ike’s extraordinary embodiment of working democratic values and processes. The memorial design embodies this heroic model of the last general to serve as president, reflecting the transitional arc of his own life, as the last President born in the 19th century and the first to be nationally memorialized in the 21st century.

Always the professional soldier, Eisenhower struggled mightily throughout his military and civilian leadership to balance liberty and security, which he believed inseparable and necessary for a democracy. The memorial powerfully reflects this core belief. Eisenhower is not depicted alone, but with the troops before D-Day and with his presidential advisors in the White House.

Only 558,000 World War II veterans are living. They, and other veterans, will find a reflection in the memorial of their own service and sacrifice. For students and teachers, the memorial will be an exceptional educational resource. For international visitors, it will be a reminder that the American experiment in democracy was envisioned by our founders on behalf of all humanity. And for all citizens the Eisenhower legacy and memorial will provide evidence and inspiration that this American experiment works.

 

For more information about the Eisenhower Memorial visit www.EisenhowerMemorial.gov.

News Date: 
Friday, September 1, 2017
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Army Navy Club
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