Few Kansans have achieved as much or left as enduring a legacy as Dwight D. Eisenhower.
He was the 34th president of the United States and the supreme commander of the Allied Expeditionary Forces in Europe during World War II. He helped create the Interstate Highway System, sent Army troops to integrate schools in Little Rock, Ark., and raised the alarm over massive military spending.
This is a man who deserves a great presidential museum and library. The Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library, Museum and Boyhood Home in Abilene is such a facility — and it’s about to get even better.
… The museum part of the facility is getting a full-scale renovation. It closed last month so the work could begin, and a reopening is planned for D-Day next year June 6, 2019. That will be the 75th anniversary of that WWII turning point.
We can’t imagine a better day to highlight Eisenhower’s achievements.
From the sound of it, the museum will be something to witness in its revamped state. Dawn Hammett, director of the Eisenhower campus, highlighted the potential media pieces.
“I think the opportunities to delve more deeply into any given topic with the use of our media components is going to be the part that’s most interesting or most unique compared to what it was,” Hammett said. …
That’s only right for a man who played a pivotal role in winning WWII — one of the most important conflicts in global history — and in shaping the postwar landscape in the United States. Ike deserves it.
But you don’t have to wait until next year to visit Abilene.
The museum’s exhibits have been moved to the library, and visitors will still have the opportunity to experience the life and history of this extraordinary leader throughout 2018 and the first half of 2019.
Take the trip. It could help enlighten us all in these divided times. Eisenhower was a Republican leader who understood the importance of New Deal social policy, expansive infrastructure projects, and enforcement of civil rights measures.
Those in both parties — in Kansas and beyond — should look to Eisenhower for an example of enlightened and enduring leadership.
— GateHouse Kansas