It's a scene that occurs 365 days a year, in stifling summer heat and cold wind of winter. Some visitors are in wheelchairs.  Others walk slowly, with canes or on the arm of a family member.  Most are accompanied by adult children or grandchildren-members of the next generations, who listen intently to stories of war and remembrance. 

Though Republicans in the House aren’t fond of the current Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Commission’s plan to honor the former president, heavy hitters from the GOP have hopped on board.

A cadre of political, military and celebrity heavyweights joined the advisory committee driving a private campaign to raise $150 million to build the long-delayed Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial in Washington, D.C., officials said Wednesday.

U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts and retired U.S. Sen. Robert Dole, both Kansas Republicans, revealed former Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush would be on the committee striving to construct a memorial to the Kansan who became supreme Allied commander during World War II and was elected to two terms as U.S. president.

Who better than former Sen. Bob Dole to spearhead fundraising for a memorial to honor another World War II hero, former President Dwight Eisenhower?

Dole announced last week that he would launch a campaign to raise $150 million — in private funds, if necessary — to complete the Eisenhower Memorial in Washington, D.C. The design of the memorial has been a matter of controversy for more than 15 years and critics of the design have stalled efforts to obtain congressional approval of funding for the project.

[VIDEO] Click to watch the interview with Senator Bob Dole and Pat Roberts.


In the 1950s, everybody liked Ike. But 60 years later, a national memorial for President Dwight D. Eisenhower is in limbo, with funding withheld by Congress.

Sen. Pat Roberts and former Sen. Bob Dole, both Kansas Republicans, announced the additions to the memorial's advisory committee Wednesday. The Bushes are being joined by former Secretary of State James Baker, former Secretary of State Colin Powell and former Senate majority leaders Tom Daschle, Bill Frist, George Mitchell and Trent Lott.

The former longtime senator from Kansas and World War II veteran is the perfect man for this job. He intends to raise the money privately to get the long-debated Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial built in Washington.

Dole has been getting things done in Washington for decades. At this stage in his life, he doesn’t need to be leading the charge on this. But it’s important to him, and he’s tired of waiting for it to get done. 

Tom Hanks is joining the advisory committee for the Eisenhower Memorial Commission, a bipartisan body composed of members of Congress as well as some prominent private citizens.

The two-time Academy Award-winning actor previously lent support to the creation of the National World War II Memorial in Washington by serving as a spokesman for the fundraising campaign.

“We look forward to his dynamic contributions to the effort to honor Ike,” said Senator Pat Roberts, the chairman of the Eisenhower Memorial Commission, in a statement. “His body of work includes acting, directing, producing and writing numerous films focused on World War II, including: ‘Saving Private Ryan'; ‘The Pacific; Band of Brothers'; and ‘The War.'”

Mr. Hanks said in the statement: “I am pleased to join the effort to remember their leader who went on to become one of our most prescient and wise of Presidents.”