Bill Clinton joins other former presidents in support of Eisenhower Memorial

Former Sen. Bob Dole is leading fundraising effort for memorial

Justin Wingerter

The Eisenhower Memorial Commission, a government panel tasked with commemorating former President Dwight D. Eisenhower, announced Monday that all four living, former U.S. presidents have joined an advisory committee for the memorial.

Former President Bill Clinton joined the Eisenhower Memorial’s Advisory Committee on Monday, accompanying former Presidents Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush on the board.

“It is immensely gratifying that all four of our nation’s former U.S. presidents have joined together in support of the national memorial honoring their fellow president, Dwight D. Eisenhower,” said Sen. Pat Roberts and former Sen. Bob Dole in a news release.

Dole announced in September he would lead a private fundraising effort to collect $150 million for a national memorial to Eisenhower on the National Mall in the nation’s capital.

“It has been 16 years since Congress authorized this memorial and it still has not been built, and some of us older World War II veterans would like to be there for the dedication,” Dole, 92, said in an interview with Fox News on Sept. 9.

Congress first approved the idea of a national memorial to Eisenhower in 1999. Since then, the Eisenhower Memorial Commission has been bogged down by debates over the design of the memorial and opposition to architect Frank Gehry from the Eisenhower family.

Roberts, chairman of the commission, and Dole, finance chairman of the Campaign for the Eisenhower Memorial, have announced in recent months the acquisition of several big names as advisers to their effort.

Along with the four presidents, six former secretaries of state have stated their support in addition to several chairmen of the joint chiefs of staff, former Cabinet members and former members of Congress.

“We are resolute that Ike’s memorial will be funded and constructed in Washington, D.C., in the near future,” Roberts and Dole said Monday.

Dole led a similar effort to fund a World War II memorial in the 1990s, garnering large donations from veterans groups. Dole has said the Eisenhower Memorial will require gifts from beyond the veteran community.

The government of Taiwan donated $1 million to the memorial effort this summer. Roberts, who was elected chairman of the commission in April, has said he and Dole will be reaching out to international supporters during the fundraising effort.