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An Unfitting Memorial

11:04 AM, Jan 16, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
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The effort to design, fund, and build a monument to Dwight Eisenhower has been underway for 15 years now.  So, unsurprisingly, while money has been spent and headquarters have been staffed, ground has not yet been broken. For that matter, the proposed design of the monument has, as Hannah Hess at Roll Call reports:

… inspired public criticism from the Eisenhower family, scathing commentaries in the national media and some backlash from the federal bodies required to give final approval to the plan. 

Meanwhile, Congress is applying pressure with its usual delicacy and in the 2014 omnibus funding bill:

The project received only $1 million of its $51 million request, meaning the Eisenhower Memorial Commission will have to stretch to cover operating costs for the professional staff at its K Street office suite. Appropriators have in the past set aside $2 million for that function.

Hard to imagine the commission’s staff slogging on without a K Street headquarters.  And, by the way, what is the other $49 million for?

Eisenhower, himself, would have found a way to cut through all this and get the thing done efficiently.  But since he is not with us and, alas, his type seems to have been lost to this age, the best way to clean this thing up is to follow Andrew Ferguson’s advice (always a good idea) and

By all means let us honor Ike. As John Eisenhower suggests, we can even keep the four-acre square on Maryland Avenue if his admirers will accept nothing less—indeed, the resulting traffic gridlock could be seen as a reminder of the Interstate Highway System that President Eisenhower did so much to advance. Ring the new square with shade trees and raise in the middle an expressive statue on a handsome plinth. Place a placard here and there with enough information to satisfy the pedagogues.

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