The grandchildren of President Dwight Eisenhower will most likely be watching the dedication of the Eisenhower Memorial the evening of Sept. 17 at home.
Because of quarantines and the threat of COVID-19, Mary Jean Eisenhower said she won’t be attending nor does she expect the other grandchildren, David, Barbara and Susan, to do so.
She said most of the guests that would have attended the event back in May are in the COVID-19 high risk category.
“So they still won’t be able to go,” said Mary Jean Eisenhower.
She said though it’s been a long process starting in 1999, it turned out well.
“It is very beautiful,” she said. “I have seen pictures of it. It’s had its ups and downs but it has turned out beautifully.”
She said everyone is very happy with the final memorial.
“I wish they would go ahead and open it up like they want to and do a dedication next year when a lot of very special people could go,” she said.
She said family and friends may gather when the coronavirus threat has lessened.
The Eisenhower Memorial is the seventh presidential memorial or monument located in Washington, D.C. and the first memorial to honor Eisenhower in the nation’s capital.
Other Presidents with landmark memorials in D.C. include Washington, Lincoln, Jefferson, Kennedy, FDR, and Teddy Roosevelt.
“It’s such a special, incredible honor,” she said. “The memorial features the Kansas Ike, the soldier Ike and the President Ike. It shows the contrast in the various lives that he led. It makes me incredibly proud.”
Congress commissioned the Eisenhower Memorial in 1999.
The long-awaited tribute honors the life and legacy of Eisenhower – from his boyhood in the heart of America through his world-changing military service and two terms as president, during which he fought to stop the spread of communism.
Designed by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry, the Memorial honors Eisenhower through art and his words, memorialized on a monumental scale in a public park and green space adjacent to the National Mall.
Why a memorial to
• In many ways, Dwight D. Eisenhower is responsible for shaping America, and the world, as we know it today.
• A graduate of West Point Military Academy, Eisenhower led Allied forces in World War II – commanding campaigns in Northern Africa and the invasion of Normandy, a dramatic turning point in the war.
• After the war, Eisenhower served as the Military Governor of the American zone of occupation in Germany and later as Army Chief of Staff and the first NATO supreme commander, helping enforce policies to secure lasting peace after the devastation of World War II.
• Eisenhower was the only presidential candidate to be recruited by both the Republican and Democratic parties to run, and won both of his elections with landslide victories.
• Eisenhower was President of the United States during a pivotal and uncertain time in America’s history. Because of his professional military knowledge and experience in war, Eisenhower was determined to “wage peace,” regulate atomic power, and protect the world against the growing spread of Communism.
• As president, Eisenhower established much of our nation’s current infrastructure , including the Interstate Highway System and the St. Lawrence Seaway. He established the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and the nation’s Department of Health, Education, and Welfare.
• Eisenhower signed the Civil Rights Act of 1957 and deployed U.S. Army troops to enforce federal court orders to integrate schools in Little Rock, Arkansas.
• The Memorial encourages all visitors to learn more about Eisenhower the man and the critical role he played in shaping our nation and defining the U.S. on the world stage.