Eisenhower Memorial to be dedicated Thursday

Sen. Pat Roberts ranks it “right at the top” of his accomplishments before retiring
One of the statues that honors our 34th president at the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial on the...
One of the statues that honors our 34th president at the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.(Gray DC)
Published: Sep. 16, 2020 at 6:36 PM CDT
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - The sound system is up, the podium is out, and most importantly, the fence is open as we prepare for the dedication of the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Ahead of Thursday’s ribbon-cutting ceremony, Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) — wearing an “I like Ike” face mask — joined some VIPs to celebrate “Kansas' favorite son.”

“Oh, I think it’s a beautiful memorial," said Roberts, who is the chairman of the commission that got the memorial built.

It’s something Roberts been part of for more than two decades. Congress first approved the project back in 1999. In 2005, a site was selected. It’s one of the last remaining open spaces on the National Mall. In 2010, a design by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry was chosen. Three years ago, the Gray Television Washington News Bureau was there for the groundbreaking ceremony. And now, a little late because of the coronavirus pandemic, the memorial will finally open to the public.

“It touches my heart, really. I met Ike when I was 14-years-old, and I never thought at that time that anything like this would be happening," said Roberts.

This is one of Roberts' last projects. At the end of the year, he’s retiring after 24 years in the Senate and 16 in the House before that.

When asked how he ranks the memorial among his accomplishments, Roberts responded, “It’s right at the top, that’s for sure…I’ve been through eight farm bills. None of them were as difficult as this. This is very rewarding for me personally, and we’ve had a great team effort.”

Because of the pandemic, former Kansas Sen. Bob Dole will not be able to attend the ceremony in-person, but he will make remarks in a recorded video.

Supervisor of Videography Timothy Knapp and Photojournalist/Editor Tyler Smith contributed to this report.

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