After a delay due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the formal dedication of the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial in Washington, D.C., took place on Thursday, September 17, 2020, with the monument opening to the public the next day.
The Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial honors the legacy of the World War II Supreme Allied Commander and the nation’s 34th President. As Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force in World War II, Eisenhower led the invasion of Normandy. He served two terms as President of United States, and his post-war leadership transformed America through its commitment to education, transportation, and exploration.
The memorial, designed by architect Frank Gehry, is located in a newly created, 4-acre public park adjacent to the National Mall and across the street from the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. The design is a combination of architectural elements, sculptures, and green space and traces Dwight D. Eisenhower’s life from his his humble childhood in Kansas to his role as Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force in World War II, and then to his work as a two-term President of the United States of America.
The entire park is framed by a stainless steel woven tapestry by artist Tomas Osinski, depicting the cliffs at Pointe du Hoc on the Normandy coastline. The tapestry is meant to represent the monumental task the Allied Soldiers faced looking upon the the rocks of Normandy when they landed on France’s beaches.
The three bronze sculptures of Dwight D. Eisenhower are by sculptor Sergey Eylanbekov, including one sculpture featuring Eisenhower with the troops of the 101st Airborne the day before the invasion of Normandy.
Stone bas-relief images and panels display some of Eisenhower’s most known addresses. The entire memorial inspires contemplation and reflection on Eisenhower the man, as well as the profound impact of his service on the country and the world. The memorial is fascinating during the day, but it’s also well worth a visit at nightfall.
For more information, check out the website of the memorial.
The banner image of this article is courtesy of the Eisenhower Memorial Commission; Photograph by Alan Karchmer, Memorial design by Gehry Partners, LLP; Tapestry by Tomas Osinski; Sculpture by Sergey Eylanbekov; Inscriptions by Nick Benson
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