This post was originally published on February 8, 2012.
After some months of escalating controversy, many people’s good intentions have been distorted. The Eisenhower family looks forward to continuing to work with the Eisenhower Memorial Commissioners to resolve the issues that have been identified during this public debate. We will work constructively with stakeholders during these deliberations. We do not seek to dominate the process, but we will continue to clearly express our views.
Despite our concerns about the current concept, which relies on a Kansas theme, we would like to reiterate that our ties to the state of Kansas have never been greater. My sister, Mary, lives in Missouri/Kansas and all family members of my generation sit on the Eisenhower Foundation board located in Abilene, Kansas — an unprecedented show of support from our family and an indication of our proud associations with Kansas and the region. We recognize and celebrate the impact our grandfather’s roots had on his life-long achievements.
The issue of a Washington memorial is far more complex, however. Memorials in Washington speak for the nation as a whole. This, then, is the mission: to find a fitting way to symbolize the importance of Dwight Eisenhower’s contribution to this country. As a “barefoot boy,” Eisenhower did not dream of fighting a war nor could he have imagined its unspeakable horror. By holding a fractious alliance together, his leadership as Supreme Commander of Allied Forces Europe, inspired and enabled the Allies to invade the coast of Normandy and fight on to victory, in the face of some of the most heinous crimes man has perpetrated on man.
During his presidency – through bipartisanship and fiscal responsibility – Eisenhower modernized America and its military capability to become the unrivaled leader of the free world and a beacon of hope for peoples everywhere.
This is the message we want to leave to future generations of Americans.