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Eisenhower family continues to fight ‘totalitarian state’ design of memorial

Eisenhower family continues to fight ‘totalitarian state’ design of memorial

A proposed Frank Gehry designed memorial for President Eisenhower is being vehemently protested by his only living son as well as granddaughters, who have objected both to the high cost to taxpayers and the design concept. A letter made public November 20 by granddaughter Susan Eisenhower details the latest events in the ongoing struggle between the family and the commission.

It also highlights yet another attempt to impose a thinly veiled progressive narrative over historical events (the Rev. Martin Luther King. Jr. memorial comes to mind). Philip Kennicott, the Washington Post’s culture critic, writes: “Gehry has produced a design that inverts several of the sacred hierarchies of the classical memorial, emphasizing ideas of domesticity and interiority rather than masculine power and external display.”

The design, which features 80-foot tall “giant industrial steel” tapestries, is considered by Susan to evoke a “totalitarian state.” The tapestries are estimated to add considerable cost to the already substantial $120 million cost for their upkeep. In testimony provided to a congressional committee earlier this year, Susan wrote:

The design team at Gehry and Associates and the Eisenhower Memorial Commission has made a habit of referring to the metal curtains as ‘tapestries,’ referencing the tradition to place great people and events on woven material. This may be true of the Middle Ages, but noteworthy modern tapestries are those in the Communist world. Tapestries honoring Marx, Engels and Lenin used to hang in Red Square; Mao Zedong could be found in Tiananmen Square; and Ho Chi Minh’s tapestry hung from public buildings in Hanoi—to name a few.

Canadian-American architect Frank Gehry, known as the “apostle of chain-link fencing and corrugated metal siding,” has said that he will work with the family to ensure their approval. Yet in the recent October 18 letter to Sen. Inouye (D-HI), John S. D. Eisenhower lambasts how his concerns have been ignored by those planning the memorial and that Eisenhower Commission Chairman Rocco Siciliano has presumed to say “his service in the White House gives him an unusual perspective” on how Eisenhower would view the design:

The Memorial design is so far off base that I urged a delay in the planning process for an extended period. An additional argument for a delay is our nation’s economic situation. We have priorities more urgent than building such an expensive memorial right now. While no one wants to see taxpayer money come to naught, the memorial design is very controversial and unlikely to meet its financial goals. Taxpayers and donors alike will be better served with an Eisenhower Square that is a green open space with a simple statue in the middle, and quotations from his important sayings.

Siciliano was recently quoted:

It is obvious to me that we must proceed with Frank Gehry’s design…We have not received a single substantive comment from the family. They have expressed only opposition…I am one person who feels competent to say that he believes President Eisenhower would be most pleased as to what the present commissioners have unanimously accepted.

His son S.D. Eisenhower has in fact proposed a design he feels is in keeping with his father’s legacy:

Taxpayers and donors alike will be better served with an Eisenhower Square that is a green open space with a simple statue in the middle, and quotations from his most important sayings.

Comparisons between the more reserved Eisenhower and General David Petraeus also are worth noting in considering how he might view the proposed Gehry design. A letter to Andrew Sullivan’s The Daily Beast points out that when Eisenhower was the Supreme Allied Commander, he wore only 3 0r 4 decorations on his military uniform, compared to Petraeus’s 30-40 ribbons and badges.

As the descendants of Eisenhower fight for fiscal responsibility and ideological accuracy in keeping with the former president’s own outlook, we are privy to a glimpse of the greater battle over our nation’s heroes and history.


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I hope no one is suprised that the liberals are rewriting history to suit their ends. They already control the next generation while the GOP sits around and laughs at us.

    legacyrepublican in reply to ironghost. | November 23, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    I have been so upset at this reality, I have been rethinking my opposition to the “fairness doctrine.”

    With fully entrenched liberals and progressives in the media, they are directing the narrative without any accountability. And if there is any complaints, they use Fox News as a distraction from the debate.

    Around every holiday here in California my grandkids come home from the public schools with the latest, leftist “did you know that, really, . . . ” which always is the destruction of some long-held positive American history story or tradition. The flaming liberals who run almost everything here are intent on tearing apart our country’s once-tightly-woven fabric.
    The latest round of this is from a “history” teacher who ranted recently about water-boarding. One of the still-bright kids asked the teacher how many prisoners were waterboarded, and his answer was “all of the prisoners at guantanamo.”
    I am not sure we can even slow down the liberal tidal wave, much less reverse it. Certainly not in my lifetime.

    TrooperJohnSmith in reply to ironghost. | November 23, 2012 at 8:24 pm

    Here in Texas, our independence day (March 2nd) is no longer celebrated or even mentioned in school, except as a date in the state’s history. Ditto with April 21st.

    However, Cinco Fuc*ing De Mayo is celebrated as some of that glorious, ass-hat diverrrrrrrrsity of which public schools are so proud. However, to Hispanics who are NOT from Meh-hee-co, the celebration is an insult because their children are, as my friend Juan from El Salvador says, “Mexicanated” for a day. The people who run public schools are so insipidly stupid and so incredibly indoctrinated, they can’t see that all Hispanics are not the same.

    Me? I just always pulled my kids out of school on Cinco de Mayo and took them on a Texas History outing, like to the Battleship Texas, down to the San Jacinto Battlefield Monument, up to Washington on the Brazos or over to San Antone for the day to see the Alamo. I told the school principal why I was doing it, and they always got an ‘excused’ absence.

      That was an inspired way to strike back. I am impressed.

      legacyrepublican in reply to TrooperJohnSmith. | November 24, 2012 at 12:04 am

      Thanks for the cool idea TrooperJohnSmith! We may just do that too in 2013.

      The other day, my son’s kindergarten teacher in the HEB ISD commented that this may be the last year they do a Thanksgiving production with Pilgrims and Indians.

      So sad. Especially since I recently discovered through that we are descended from Elder William Brewster and Francis Cooke.

Although I like his Disney Concert Hall in downtown L.A., a few blocks from where I work, he lives here in Santa Monica, just a couple blocks away from us … and God is his house ugly. Just butt-ugly.

” … when Eisenhower was the Supreme Allied Commander, he wore only 3 or 4 decorations on his military uniform, compared to Petraeus’s 30-40 ribbons and badges.”

Yep. And, “… He asked to be buried in a simple $80 pine coffin, wearing no medals except his rank insignia.”

See the difference:

On the minimalist to ostentatious spectrum, Ike would definitely wanted something simple.

    BannedbytheGuardian in reply to LukeHandCool. | November 23, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    The BrIt’s have been having a field day laughing at all his medals . Other American generals are not spared either. They have dug up the fact that Petraeus nominated AND presented Jill Kelley with the military’s highest civilian award or summit him close. Medalmania.

    Regarding memorials I am fan of WW1 efforts. They are always gracious & simple.myfavourite OSA simple arch that is inscribed To God Who Gave Us This Victory.

    Ragspierre in reply to LukeHandCool. | November 23, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    To be historically accurate, Ike didn’t wear much because he didn’t earn much. Not that he didn’t try.

    Compare and contrast Patton.

    Ike was principally an admin officer. He was not a combat general. Again, not for lack of trying.

    I always think of Churchill’s remark about his successor as PM after the war; “He is a very humble man, with a great deal to be humble about”.

    Still, as with Patton and others of our military leaders, Ike seems to have been an example of “cometh the hour, cometh the man”.

    What few people appreciate is that he…much more openly than JFK…used the power of the Federal government to destroy segregation.

      TrooperJohnSmith in reply to Ragspierre. | November 23, 2012 at 8:32 pm

      In one of his vainglorious fits of pique, the Great Ego, Douglas MacArthur, called Ike, “The best adjutant I ever had”. Yeah, he worked for ol’ Dougout Doug (arguably the most overrated general in history) in the Philippines.

        BannedbytheGuardian in reply to TrooperJohnSmith. | November 23, 2012 at 11:15 pm

        We liked Mac -or at least. I have never heard a single criticism. .My father seved in Occupied Japan for several years & I never heard one Negative about Americans or General Mac.

        We had a lot of criticisms for British Generals. & even Churchill.

        This is what I have gleaned from overhearingmany conversations
        military who were both in Europe. Africa & The Pacific.

        historians might say otherwise but They were not there.

          TrooperJohnSmith in reply to BannedbytheGuardian. | November 24, 2012 at 8:53 am

          Due to fog on the airfields in Formosa that grounded the Japanese dawn strike on the PI airfields, MacArthur had ample time to prepare. He lost his air force day one. Then, his whole “defend the beaches” strategy was a disaster. Korea? Another debacle. He and his boy Ned Almond almost gave away the store and would have had it not been for the incredible instincts, common sense and resistance against idiotic orders by Oliver P. Smith of the First Marine Division. Oh, and don’t forget that if he’d had his way in Korea, we’d have probably been in WWIII by 1951.

Damned liberals always want to change history or make heros look stupid.

What a fascinating story. I’ve seen it nowhere else. Thanks.

Might be best for government and government-funded agencies to get out of the historic statue business.

If built as planned people would be talking about the Gehry Memorial instead of the Eisenhower Tribute. Such advertising gets more business for Gehry, of course.

Its time to get another architect or just level the site and make a lush park just as the son wants for his father. The man of war wants to rest in peace without iron (or stainless steel)curtains weighing down.

Cheer up, if it was like the Shanksville 9/11 memorial the outline would be either a swastika or the hammer and sickle.

That is ugly. I like some of Gehry’s work, but that monument is not remotely what I would consider appropriate for Eisenhower.

Great Glorious Moments in Amerikan History….

“When George Washington crossed the Delaware, in his epic battle against British Corporatist, he stood at the front of the bow of the S.S. Fair Share, wearing nothing but Mom jeans and a Che’ t-shirt, raised his hammer and sickle, and shouted “Forward!”.

TrooperJohnSmith | November 23, 2012 at 8:14 pm

My suggestion is a 50-foot tall granite statue of Ike driving a golf ball off the pursed lips of a supine, prostrate Nikita Khrushchev.

Frank Gehry is kind of like Kim Kardashian: famous for being famous. His buildings are clownish monstrosities, and you have to believe he’s saying to himself every time, “How ridiculous can I make this look and still have these suckers think it’s art?”

In 50 years the whole world will ask, “What on earth were the idiots who commissioned this thinking??”