Eisenhower family fighting monument design

Feb. 7, 2012 at 8:24 AM
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WASHINGTON, Feb. 7 (UPI) -- The family of former President Dwight Eisenhower says objections to the proposed Eisenhower memorial on the Washington Mall are being ignored.

Groundbreaking on the $112 million memorial is expected to begin this year, The New York Times said.

The memorial, designed by architect Frank Gehry, features a statue of Eisenhower as a barefoot young man from Abilene, Kan., gazing out at the images of his adult accomplishments. Family members say Gehry should portray Eisenhower as a man and great leader.

"He was chief of staff of the Army; he was a two-term president of the United States," said Susan Eisenhower, a granddaughter, told the newspaper. "It's in those roles that America has gratitude for him, not as being a young boy with a great future in front of him."

The family has asked that the project be delayed until its objections are addressed.

Supporters of the plan, however, say the mortality of the World War II veterans and Korean War veterans who are eager to see the memorial must be taken into account when considering a possible delay. The memorial will be dedicated on Memorial Day 2015.

"This memorial will not only tell the story of Eisenhower, the Kansas boy who became a great soldier, a U.S. president and a world leader, but also reflect the story of America -- its proud history, bright future and enduring ideals," the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Commission, which included the former president's grandson, David, until he resigned to work with the Eisenhower Foundation, said on its Facebook page.

The National Capital Planning Commission said it received a letter from the Eisenhower family last month expressing concerns about the design and requesting a delay, the newspaper said.

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