In 2020, Eisenhower Is a Lantern in the Dark

Four months ago, as America’s monument to Dwight D. Eisenhower readied to open officially just off the national mall in Washington, the celebration was shuttered due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As the country grappled with its greatest crisis since the era that made Ike a hero, the symbol of the kind of nation he represented and tried to build — and the global role it aspired for — stood ready, gleaming, yet temporarily shuttered, awaiting a new day.

Now that day has arrived. Yet while dignitaries gather on Sept. 17 to cut the ribbon for “Eisenhower Park” — a $150 million memorial marked by a massive steel tapestry with seven-story high columns and nine-foot tall statues spread across four tree-filled acres — the pandemic has only gotten worse. As the disease rages and economy sputters, America’s civic life is unraveling. In this time of darkness, Eisenhower’s example is as important as ever.

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