OTHER VOICES

Ike’s memorial

Posted Feb. 21, 2012, at 4:42 p.m.

Another effort to honor a great American in our nation’s capital, another memorial controversy.

Wasn’t it just last year that we were debating the merits of a new District of Columbia memorial to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.?

Now, with a quick rewind to the 1940s and 1950s, there’s a dustup over the approved design for an official memorial on the Washington Mall to Dwight D. Eisenhower.

As recounted by The New York Times, the dispute sets the Eisenhower family against the renowned architect Frank Gehry, known worldwide for his innovative design of buildings.

Gehry has designed a memorial intended to evoke from viewers some sense of the remarkable journey made by the self-described “barefoot boy” of Abilene, Kan., as he grew to become commander of the Allied forces in Europe and president.

Some, however, are not impressed.

The family resents the centrality to the memorial of Eisenhower as a youth.

Accordingly, the family has asked for a delay in the project, which was to break ground this year and be completed in time for dedication on Memorial Day 2015. In the end, they seek to remove the youth as organizing principle.

Well, sometimes it seems the only monument that would not meet opposition would be those that follow in the images of the safe and familiar.

Maybe a statue of Ike in a colonnaded, marble building — think Lincoln and Jefferson memorials — would get everyone on board.

Then again, been there, done that.

The Daily Freeman, Kingston, N.Y. (Feb. 15)

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