Injustice to Ike
IT’S TAKING longer to construct the Eisenhower Memorial in Washington, D.C., than the number of years that Eisenhower spent during two major periods in his life combined.
Dwight D. Eisenhower was World War II Allied commander, and war lasted from 1941-45. He served two terms as president.
However, it was 15 years ago that the memorial was authorized, and a design for it has yet to be approved.
According to a report by the House Natural Resources Committee, it already has cost the taxpayers millions of dollars.
Congressional investigators are describing the memorial designed by a celebrity architect as a “five-star folly” plagued by rising costs, construction delays and design problems.
“While there is no question, President and General Eisenhower is worthy of a memorial honoring his tremendous accomplishments, our oversight has identified significant questions that undermine the viability of the current design and the Memorial Commission’s ability to see a memorial to completion,” the report noted.
A New York Times story recently noted that the Eisenhower Memorial Commission, which is overseeing the project, contends the 58-page report by the House Natural Resources Committee is unfair and inaccurate in regard to spending.
The National Capital Planning Commission rejected the most recent design in April and told the architectural team to produce a revamped plan.
A statement from the Memorial Commission chairman pointed out the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial took 41 years to complete, and there were initial objections to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
That’s no excuse for the delays and other problems being encountered. Just think, many of those who fought in World War II and to whom the memorial would be particularly significant are dying and may never see its completion.
EISENHOWER was wise in ways of the world in addition to being a leader as he once said, “There are a number of things wrong with Washington. One of them is everyone is too far from home.”
In his State of the Union message in 1956, he commented on spending. Mentioning “our enormous national debt,” he added, “We must begin to make some payments on it if we are to avoid passing on to our children an impossible burden of debt.”
He was decisive during the war, especially about D-Day – it’s regrettable those in Washington can’t follow suit.