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Eisenhower and the Meaning of Victory

June 25, 2020

Dear Reader,

Seventy-five years ago this June, with the German surrender a month before, Dwight Eisenhower visited allied and liberated countries and expressed his thanks to the victorious armies and appreciation for the sacrifices made during the war. He also spoke of the teamwork that was forged by the Allied effort and its meaning for the future. 

Take a few minutes to watch the video of Eisenhower’s epic carriage ride through the crowded streets of London to the Guildhall Hall where on June 12 he was presented with Marlborough’s sword and the citizenship of London. In watching this seven-minute newsreel one is struck by a set of values that have seemingly disappeared. It is possible to get a sense of Eisenhower’s leadership: his humility, his humor, the depth of this thinking, not to mention his capacity to articulate historically relevant context. It should be noted that Ike wrote the speech himself and delivered the twelve-minute speech (in the audio link) from memory. Yes, without a note or a teleprompter! 

I think you will be struck by power of this extraordinary moment, and by Winston’s Churchill’s moving comments at the end. Eisenhower went on to other countries for similar victory parades, eventually returning to the United States where he was given a massive parade, ending with a speech before a joint session of Congress. 

Watch an account of the historic Guildhall Day—including the reaction of the British people:

Listen to the audio of Eisenhower’s full speech:

Guildhall Address, London, England, June 12, 1945

For more on this and other key moments in the life and service of Dwight Eisenhower, How Ike Led will be published on August 11.

My best to you all,
Susan

15 Comments leave one →
  1. Ann Turpin permalink
    June 25, 2020 8:03 am

    Very moving, Susan. Thank you so much! You are right in reminding us of the great nation we once were.

  2. Dominique FORGET permalink
    June 25, 2020 8:08 am

    Dear Susan, I know this incredible newsreel. He is always so serious but he never forget to smile. I will leave France for Austria next week, for my new documentary project about Mauthausen concentration camp complex. I will bring one book of his WW2 Papers covering May 1945. Best wishes from Normandy and keep healthy. Dominique

  3. David Edelman permalink
    June 25, 2020 8:14 am

    Truly amazing of what real leadership and humility is all about. And yes, it is sadly lacking today especially with this current president. Hope all is well. Keep reminding people of what we still can and should have in this county through his words.

  4. catherwoc0001 permalink
    June 25, 2020 10:07 am

    My mother was among the crowds to celebrate victory! Aged 92 she still remembers it vividly. They had great leaders in those days, Dwight Eisenhower very much among them! Looking forward to your book once post is easier from the USA!

  5. Bob Hanfling permalink
    June 25, 2020 10:20 am

    Good morning and thank you for sending this to me. I hope you are healthy and handling the current double trouble of Covid and Trump , as well as possible. We will find a vaccine for C, but even when we hopefully defeat T in November, I don’t know how our Democracy will stand tall, with his hard core 45% supporters Very best regards Bob Robert Hanfling

    >

  6. Paul Wheelehan permalink
    June 25, 2020 11:07 am

    Gen. Eisenhower did a superb job with what he had to work with. Don’t have much respect for Churchill the war monger, caused both wars. US, Brits, French all allowed Hitler to funded to make his war machine to attack the Russians and socialism… its just way capitalism\imperialism work. After world’s loss of the statesman Roosevelt the imperialism continued and many more millions were to die. We wait the world to learn from history yet it seems impossible as a certain breed of human seeks luxury and wealth beyond the needs of a mortal, moral, ethical, logical human beings. I believe your father knew the same.

  7. Nigel and Mags permalink
    June 25, 2020 11:40 am

    Hello Susan, My name is Nigel, and I live in The U.K. I am writing to say, we had a very Dear friend, Mr Roy O’Neil, A Nornandy Veteran. Alas he passed away recently, and we have just attended his Funeral I know he met you on a couple of Occasions, on his travels in Normandy each Year, and I just want to pass on to you, how proud he was to tell people that he had met you. Each time we met at his home for a coffee, your name would crop up. He was such a lovely man, who we all owed so much for our Freedom- As we do to all our dear Veterans Still with us- And those heroes who never made it home. Thank you for making him feel so proud, and God bless. Best wishes, Nigel Mcarthur

  8. Cynthia Knutson permalink
    June 25, 2020 3:24 pm

    Such a strong and humble leader! He truly relates with the people. Oh, if we only had such a great leader today for this turbulent and confused world.
    Thank you for sharing.
    Cindy K

  9. carlos agnesi permalink
    June 26, 2020 2:07 pm

    Hi Susan:

    Great memories and being his guest for a week!

    Blessings
    Carlos

    Sent from my iPhone

  10. MN SCI permalink
    June 28, 2020 5:23 pm

    Susan, I look foward to your new book “How Ike Led”, how can i get a signed copy? Gerry Wenner  

  11. June 29, 2020 12:55 pm

    Look for an upcoming notice on this website about how to get a personally signed copy of
    “How Ike Led.” Susan Eisenhower has agreed to do this by utilizing bookplates or by signing
    her book directly on the book’s title page.

  12. Debbir (Dave) Dasgupta permalink
    July 31, 2020 2:57 pm

    Dear Ms. Eisenhower:

    I just finished reading the WSJ review of your book “How Ike Lead,” and can’t tell you how inspired and moved I am by your touching account of your gradfather’s life — as a soldier, president, statesman, world leader, and most importantly, as a big-hearted human being of immense compassion, empathy and humility. I’ve added the book to my reading list and will be ordering from Amazon.

    The most touching sentence in the review made me tear up: “She writes that her last sight of him resting in his $81 GI coffin, “in his military uniform, which bore only one bar of ribbons and his five stars, . . . has stayed with me ever since, and always will.” It’s a moving touch, especially the unadorned, simple $81 GI coffin! I seriously doubt any of our current crop of politicians (they’re appeasers and grifters, not leaders) of either praty will settle for such a casket on the final journey to their resting place.

    About me: I’m a retired Indian-American immigrant and naturalized citizen who came to the U.S. 40 years ago in pursuite of a better life. And, for the most part, that dream has been achieved through personal sacrifice for my family’s well-being and hard work. My two grandkids (3 and 2 yrs. old) are the joys of this 66-year-old man in the autumn of his life.

    God bless you, and stay safe and healthy,

    Thank you,
    Debbir Dasgupta

  13. August 15, 2020 3:33 pm

    If you would like a signed copy, the book can be acquired at Politics and Prose on the part of the website that relates to “How Ike Led.” If you would like a personalized bookplate please contact Ms. Eisenhower at this site, by sending another comment.

  14. Daniel Gacek permalink
    October 11, 2020 6:28 am

    I warmly welcome. Is there a picture of the sword that general eisenhower then received?

  15. October 12, 2020 3:09 pm

    I looked to see if I could find a picture, but could not off hand. No doubt the Eisenhower Library in Abilene, Kansas has such an image.

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