Located across from the Smithsonian National Air and Space museum and nestled among many of the federal agencies that have roots in the Eisenhower administration, this memorial honors Dwight D. Eisenhower’s legacy as the nation’s 34th President and the World War II Supreme Allied Commander.
Designed by architect Frank Gehry, the memorial features three bronze statues of Eisenhower by sculptor Sergey Eylanbekov: one picturing Eisenhower with troops the day before the invasion of Normandy, one depicting him surrounded by advisors in the White House, and a third picturing him as “Little Ike” in his youth. Bas-relief image panels and inscriptions note moments from Eisenhower’s own addresses, and a woven tapestry made of stainless-steel frames the memorial, depicting cliffs along the Normandy coastline.
On June 6, 1944, Eisenhower commanded the Allied forces in the Normandy invasion, and in 1952, then retired from active service, he was elected as the nation’s 34th President. Throughout his two terms as President, Eisenhower concentrated on maintaining world peace by reducing Cold War tensions through negotiations. Other accomplishments during his presidency include establishing Alaska and Hawaii as states, signing the 1957 Civil Rights Act and establishing the Civil Rights Commission, supporting the creation of the Interstate Highway System, and signing the bill to form the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).