Dole told The Associated Press on Friday that he aims to raise $150 million in private funds, if necessary, to build the memorial after more than 15 years of planning. Critics of the memorial's design have stalled funding in Congress.

The 92-year-old World War II veteran says it's time to honor "Ike," the 34th president and supreme Allied commander during World War II. Organizers hope to create "I Still Like Ike" clubs nationwide to support the memorial.

On Wednesday evening, the Eisenhower Memorial Commission is hosting a public forum on which of Ike’s words should be included in the memorial planned for a site off the National Mall. The design of the planned memorial has been hotly debated.

Professor Louis Galambos of Johns Hopkins University, Professor Richard Striner of Washington College in Maryland and former Library of Congress historian Daun van Ee studied Eisenhower’s speeches to recommend six for the commission’s consideration. Two are from Eisenhower’s tenure as World War II general and four come from his presidency.

In November, 2012, the Eisenhower Middle School community -- students, teachers and parents -- held a kickoff event for the fundraising drive entitled, “Past, Present and Future.”  With the School’s history in mind, the kickoff was held on the 50th anniversary of the school’s dedication when it opened in 1962.  Since then, members of the school community participated in numerous fundraising activities.

To say people don’t like the proposed Eisenhower Memorial is an understatement. Hate might be the better word. During a congressional hearing Monday on the Frank Gehry-designed memorial, criticsdidn’t keep their feelings to themselves.

“I want to know how we came up with this monstrosity,” said Rep. Tim McClintock, R-Calif.

“The Gehry design is, regretfully, unworkable,” said Susan Eisenhower, the late president’s granddaughter.

A little while later I find it nagging at me. Maybe because I saw battle in World War II, where we Allies were decidedly -- no one has ever said otherwise -- the good guys, and he was the Allied Commander.

And maybe because in the 23 debates between that string of candidates for the Republican nomination for president of the United States, there wasn't a single invocation of his name or his legacy. Nothing pissed me off more than that my Commanding General in WW II and two term President, Dwight David Eisenhower, was totally ignored.

WASHINGTON -- This is a city full of statutes and statues -- but stingy with monuments.

What has fueled the Eisenhower memorial controversy in the media are the public pronouncements of two of the president’s granddaughters, Susan and Anne Eisenhower, who have proclaimed themselves dissatisfied with the design. Understandably, their position is being taken seriously. Yet I am concerned that the growing public brouhaha will ultimately weaken the memorial design.

Nearly a thousand visitors had their photos taken alongside a life-size likeness of Ike, and 10,000 of those visitors took home a very special memento of their visit to Ike’s booth – campaign buttons and magnets proclaiming “I Still Like Ike.” Many went home and “liked” Ike’s memorial on Facebook, and hundreds of the photos taken with Ike are now showcased on the Facebook page.