Eisenhower Memorial, Delayed by Design Disputes, Opens This Week

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tags: Dwight D. Eisenhower, Washington DC, Eisenhower Memorial, monuments

At a time when statues and memorials are being taken down or reconsidered across the United States, a new one is going up in the nation’s capital that could shape the roiling debate over how the country chooses icons to honor.

The long-awaited $150 million memorial to Dwight D. Eisenhower will be dedicated in the shadow of the United States Capitol on Thursday, paying tribute to the general who led the Allies to victory over totalitarianism in Europe during World War II and the president who sought peace around the world after it was over.

The memorial is the result of 21 years of disputes over its design that had nothing to do with the current national reckoning over statuary, but the timing of its debut provides fodder for the continuing conversation about how the United States views itself. Eisenhower was yet another white male figure from an era dominated by white men, but one who seems to offer his own particular lessons for a fractious time.

He was a leader who sought to work across lines toward a common purpose, driven by duty and pragmatism rather than ideology and divisiveness. He steered his Republican Party away from isolationism toward a bipartisan internationalism that prevailed until recent years. He sent troops into the South not to crack down on demonstrations for racial justice but to enforce the desegregation of schools. He ended the Korean War and balanced the budget, presiding over nearly eight years of peace and prosperity. And he pushed through an infrastructure bill that built the interstate highway system.

Read entire article at New York Times

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