As former Commandant of the Marine Corps and chairman of the American Battle Monument Commission under three presidents, I am astounded at Rep. Rob Bishop's, R-Utah, efforts to derail the Eisenhower Memorial project. Having built both the World War II and Korean War Memorials on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., I know firsthand that memorial projects spark controversy and heated rhetoric and can take years to complete. In fact, whole books have been written on the subject of memorials in Washington, chronicling their uneasy births.
Utahns should know that the Eisenhower National Memorial has consistently received a high level of support, encouragement and funding from the United States Congress ever since Congress established the memorial in 1999. Eight of the 12 members of the Eisenhower Memorial Commission are members of the House and Senate. The memorial commissioners, including the congressional members, voted unanimously for the final design in June of this year.
The Eisenhower Memorial Commission has strong ties to Utah. It is chaired by Utahn Rocco Siciliano, and Utah's great Sen. Bob Bennett was a commissioner while serving in the Senate and remains on the memorial's advisory board.
In attacking the Eisenhower Memorial, Congressman Bishop is undermining his own brethren, as well as the memorialization of one of America's greatest leaders and friends of Utah.
General P.X. Kelley, USMC (Ret.)
Co-chairman Advisory Board, Eisenhower Memorial