My father was in the Army, and my mother was a volunteer. Rumor has it she adored the General.
I was born 9 October 1945, but it took us almost a year for all three of us to make it back to the States.
By 1950, there was a groundswell to elect Eisenhower president, and he was elected in 1952, and sworn into office in 1953.
Everybody liked Ike, and I wore a huge button proclaiming just that. Ike “invented” the Interstate Highway System in 1956 , and my father actually helped build the thing!
On September 24, 1955, Eisenhower had a serious heart attack while vacationing in Colorado, and he ended up in the hospital for six weeks. We sent him a get well card, and his wife Mamie sent us a thank you note postmarked from Denver.
Even with his health issues now made public, he easily won a second term.
It took 30 years after he left office for the country to officially decide Ike should have a memorial. Congress approved the Dwight D. Eisenhower National Memorial in 1999. As the memorial website points out, “Eisenhower was influential in bringing World War II to an end . . . . He also ended the Korean War and maintained active communications with the Soviet Union during the Cold War.”
So, it is now 2013. How is that memorial coming along? The Standard Examiner of September 22 told us, “It was more than 10 years later before a winning design by Frank Gehry was unveiled. The well-known architect designed iconic structures like the Guggenheim Museum in Spain and the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles.”
“More than $40 million later there is still no monument.”
Apparently, “The Eisenhower family has objected to the current design,” along with many others.
The newspaper says that according to Rob Bishop, Utah’s 1st District Congressman, “this may be more of a memorial to the architect, rather than to the 34th President,” so the congressman wants to start from scratch.
The paper reports, “The planned monument could end up being the most costly one ever built in Washington. About $60 million has already been allocated by Congress.”
In other words – “stay tuned.”
I still like Ike.