I was stunned by Fred Bernstein’s assertion [“I like Ike . . . elsewhere,” Local Opinions, April 28] that Dwight D. Eisenhower doesn’t need a memorial in Washington. This man served as supreme commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force in World War II. He was the planner and commander of one of the greatest amphibious invasions in history. He liberated Europe from Nazi tyranny and saved the art treasures of Western Europe, among other contributions. As president, he established the interstatesystem and oversaw the beginning of the space program and the deployment of the United States’ first satellites. With an eye toward the 21st century, Mr. Eisenhower created the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA), precursor of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency — leading to the creation of the Internet.
It is difficult to imagine life without the progress that began under Mr. Eisenhower in the 1950s and the freedoms he preserved for Americans. Mr. Bernstein’s article was probably transmitted to The Post thanks to Mr. Eisenhower, using the Internet that had its origins in ARPA, or via a mobile device transmitted over a satellite, whose origins were in the space program.
I’d suggest that Mr. Bernstein ask the Honor Flight visitors who flock to the World War II Memorial in their wheelchairs and on walkers if their commander deserves a memorial. He would receive a definitive answer.
Carl W. Reddel, Washington
The writer is executive director of the Eisenhower Memorial Commission.
The Eisenhower Memorial need not be abandoned just because there is controversy over one possible design. Revoking an authorized presidential memorial would cast unnecessary doubt on our national story, as well as on President Eisenhower’s legacy. This is one reason such authorizations are not given lightly and there is no precedent for acting on the author’s recommendation.
There are precedents for the current controversy, however, in the other presidential memorials on the Mall.
Such controversy may be endemic to the search for national symbols that speak for everyone. Customarily, we have found resolution through public design competitions that are open to all Americans. It was the unusual decision to abandon this established practice that sparked the current controversy. We can resolve it by returning to our usual course for designing national memorials.
Sam Roche, New York
The writer is the spokesman for the group Right by Ike: Project for a New Eisenhower Memorial.
Kudos to Fred Bernstein for articulating the primary reason I favor building a memorial to President Dwight D. Eisenhower — if one must be built — somewhere other than near the Mall. If the Eisenhower family doesn’t like what a renowned and gifted artist has offered (and revised to accommodate many of its concerns), it is justified in building a memorial that intersects with its tastes — in Kansas. The Eisenhower Presidential Library is an excellent location. Thus, the family would be pleased, Ike would get his memorial and the residents of the District would have one fewer headache inflicted on them .
Chip Walgren, Washington