Site chosen for Eisenhower memorial

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Dwight D. Eisenhower had been dead for more than a decade before scholars began calling him one of the greatest presidents in American history. Now planners have chosen one of Washington's most prominent sites for a grand memorial to the humble man from Abilene, Kan.

The plaza-style memorial across the street from the National Mall would honor Eisenhower's legacy of public service, joining the collection of nearby monuments to Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

"It was his total approach to domestic and international politics that set him apart," said Retired Air Force Brig. Gen. Carl Reddel, executive director of the Eisenhower Memorial Commission. "He's a much more profound figure than many realized."

The memorial site, selected earlier this year, was approved this month by the National Capital Memorial Advisory Commission. If it passes muster with two other advisory groups, the commission will formally recommend it to Congress next year.

Completion of the memorial itself remains at least five or six years away, Reddel said. There is no design yet, although planners envision both a physical structure and a "living element" that would offer programs explaining the president's role in history.

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