Coronavirus pandemic upends plans for Eisenhower memorial dedication

dwight d. eisenhower
The Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial’s dedication will not coincide with the 75th anniversary of V-E Day. (Courtesy Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Commission)

A memorial in D.C. that honors World War II hero and 34th U.S. president Dwight D. Eisenhower will not be dedicated on the 75th anniversary of the end of the war in Europe.

Friday is V-E Day — Victory in Europe Day — when Nazi forces formally surrendered to the Allies on May 8, 1945.

The new Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial was set to be dedicated Friday, but because of the coronavirus pandemic, that’s not happening yet.

The two-block long memorial and park sit across from the National Air and Space Museum. It’s framed by a stainless steel woven tapestry, which depicts the cliffs of Normandy.

“I really think this is unique,” said Kansas Republican Sen. Pat Roberts, who was the chairman of the Eisenhower Memorial Commission.

“Basically it is a park. The Eisenhower family thought, and I think correctly, that that is what Eisenhower would prefer. He was a very modest man.”

Roberts said the lighting of the park was “just unbelievable.”

“With each setting of the sun, the tapestry changes,” he said.

President Donald Trump and World War II veterans were expected to attend the dedication, Roberts said.

It was also set to include a military flyover and an address from former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

The memorial has been basically complete for several months.

The dedication is now set for September.

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John Aaron

John Aaron is a news anchor and reporter for WTOP. After starting his professional broadcast career as an anchor and reporter for WGET and WGTY in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, he went on to spend several years in the world of sports media, working for Comcast SportsNet, MLB Network Radio, and WTOP.

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