Nicolaus Mills: Rethinking the Eisenhower Memorial ... What is a Fitting Tribute to Ike?
Nicolaus Mills is a professor of American studies at Sarah Lawrence College and author of Winning the Peace: The Marshall Plan and America's Coming of Age as a Superpower (2008). Nick is currently at work on a new book, Season of Fear: American Intellectuals and 9/11.
By comparison with the bitter battle over the new Memorial to the airmen of Bomber Command in London's Green Park, the battle over the proposed new Eisenhower Memorial in Washington, DC has been mild.
The Eisenhower Memorial does not come with the explosive issue – the second world war carpet-bombing of German cities – that has colored debate on the memorial to the airmen of Bomber Command. The architectural fight over the Eisenhower Memorial is, nonetheless, one of enormous seriousness. Dwight D "Ike" Eisenhower is the military face of the second world war for most Americans, and this Fourth of July there will be no celebrating the start of his long-overdue memorial.
The US secretary of the interior wants more time to study the latest models of the memorial, and if Susan Eisenhower, Ike's granddaughter, has her way, the controversial Frank Gehry-designed memorial will never be built in its present form...