Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial

Audio Available:

OVERVIEW: About this audio-described brochure

Welcome to the audio-described version of the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial’s original print brochure, through text and audio descriptions of photos and illustrations, this version interprets the two-sided color brochure that visitors receive when visiting the memorial. The brochure provides information about the life of Dwight D Eisenhower from Kansas to the White House.

The brochure is separated into four sections each representing a time frame within Eisenhower’s life; childhood, military, president, and the creation of the memorial. The sections are separated with a brown bar with a quote in white text.

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OVERVIEW: Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial

The Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial, located in Washington, D.C., is part of the National Park Service, within the Department of the Interior. The park is situated at 540 Independence Avenue SW, and opened on Sept. 17, 2020. To find out more about what resources might be available or to contact the park directly, visit the "Accessibility" and "More Information" sections at the end of this audio-described brochure.

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OVERVIEW: Front side of brochure

The front of the brochure is divided into three sections. The top quarter of the page has a color illustration of the outdoor memorial from a distance, with two groupings of statues and surrounding buildings. Above the picture is a black band that reads "Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial, National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, Washington, D.C." In the right corner is a small National Park Service Arrowhead logo. The next quarter of the page has information about Eisenhower's childhood in Kansas and a cut out image of the statue of Eisenhower as a young man that can be found in the memorial. A thin brown band across the top of this section reads "The proudest thing I can claim is that I am from Abilene." The bottom half of the page has text describing Eisenhower's military service along with a cut out photo of a statue grouping from the memorial showing Eisenhower in his military uniform. The thin brown band across the top of this section reads "The eyes of the world are upon you." In the middle of the text is a grouping of five metal stars.
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IMAGE: Arist rendering of the memorial

DESCRIBING: A large horizontal graphic that spans the top of the brochure, just under the memorial's banner.

DESCRIPTION: This is a long rectangular color illustration of the memorial. In the center of the image are three threes in the courtyard. On either side of the courtyard are two bronze statue groupings surrounded by tan stone walls. Several groupings of people are looking at the memorial and enjoying the center courtyard. Their features are indistinct but there appear to be a range of ages including children. One visitor is in a wheelchair. The two sections of sculptures are connected by a low tan stone wall with engraved block letters. The people obscure some of the letters but it appears that Dwight D. Eisenhower is carved into the stone. The sections of tan or reddish rectangular blocks frame the statues in formations that sides, a back wall, and a top rectangle. The statues are on raised platforms about a step above the courtyard level. The left side has four statues standing in front of a table. The stone across the top of the section is engraved with block letters that are not legible from this distance. On either side of the statues are rounded vertical stones supporting the top that resemble pillars. The right section has seven statues standing in a line. The back wall is curved. It supports a top section of stone at a slight angle from the base and jutting out beyond the wall slightly. There are also indistinct letters carved into this top piece. Behind the outdoor memorial is an office building with rows of rectangular windows. Obscuring the building are black squiggly lines representing the steel tapestry suspended above the two statue groups.

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IMAGE, QUOTE, and TEXT: The proudest thing I can claim is that I am from Abilene

DESCRIBING: A medium sized cutout image of a sculpture of Eisenhower as a young man.

DESCRIPTION: This is a bronze sculpture of Eisenhower as a young man in a seated position as if on the ground, body turned toward the left, with legs crossed at the ankles, left behind right and knees towards the chest. His arms are wrapped around the knees with his right hand holding the left wrist. He is wearing boots, pants with a pocket and a button high up on the side, possibly indicating overalls. The long-sleeved button shirt is open at the collar. The shirt is rumpled at the bend in the elbows and down the sides. His head is turned to the right of the image, over his left shoulder, with a relaxed look and a slight smile. The hair is close cropped above the ears and longer bangs are swept to the right across his forehead. There are areas on the statue that appear unfinished as if clay dripped or was left in clumps. This is noticeable on the hands and chest area with smaller areas on the arms and legs. 

CAPTION: Sculptor Sergey Eylanbekov’s statue of Eisenhower as a young man.

QUOTE: 

“The proudest thing I can claim is that I am from Abilene.”

- Dwight D. Eisenhower, Homecoming Speech, 1945


RELATED TEXT: 

Long after Dwight David Eisenhower was famous, he referred to himself as a “simple country boy.” Nicknamed “Ike”, an abbreviation of his last name, Eisenhower was born on October 14, 1890 in Denison, Texas. He was the third of seven boys. The family moved to the small town of Abilene, Kansas when Ike was two years old. In Abilene, the Eisenhower’s world revolved around work at a dairy farm and Bible study. Eisenhower’s parents, David and Ida, were from a Mennonite background and strong believers in God and pacifism.

Young Ike loved hunting, fishing, and reading history. He also had a passion for baseball. His work ethic, competitiveness, and ambition would not keep him in Abilene for long.

Lacking money for college, Ike’s way out of Abilene was delayed for two years. He worked while his older brother Edgar attended college. Learning that the military academies charged no tuition, Ike took and passed entrance exams for the US Naval Academy and the US Military Academy at West Point. He was too old for the Navy. In 1911, he earned an appointment to West Point.

Despite Eisenhower’s eventual world travels and positions of power, he would return to Abilene where his dreams of seeing the wider world began and where his family and friends still resided.

How did your hometown and the people you grew up with shape your life?

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IMAGE and TEXT: The eyes of the world are upon you

IMAGE 1 of 2

DESCRIBING: A small cut out image of the five star insignia

DESCRIPTION: Five bronze 5 pointed stars in a circle with one point of each star touching the next forming a pentagon in the center.

CAPTION: During World War II Eisenhower became a five star general, the highest rank in the US military.

IMAGE 2 of 2

DESCRIBING: A large, cut out, and horizontal image of a bronze statue of Eisenhower addressing his troops.

DESCRIPTION: The image depicts six statues made of bronze with a slight patina. The figures are shown standing from above the knees. The statue to the far right is Eisenhower in profile to the left. He is wearing a military style round cap with small brim, a waist length coat, known as the “Ike” jacket, with side buckle and a left breast pocket with flap. The pants are slightly visible from just below the waist with a back left pocket flap. The right arm is bent at the elbow with the hand in a loose fist held in front of the body at chest level. The left arm has a slight bend at the elbow and is behind the back with the hand resting on the top back of the left leg. Eisenhower is facing the other five statues. The first statue’s body is facing forward with the head turned to the left and the right shoulder leaning into the left shoulder of the second figure. The soldier is wearing a helmet, shirt opened at the collar, and a hip length coat with a belt. The coat has a breast pocket and pocket below the waist with flaps covering the openings. The jacket is rumpled across the arms and chest. The left arm is hanging down with the hand in a fist. The right arm is not visible behind the second statue. This first figure is staring off in the distance with a determined look and mouth slightly downturned. The second soldier is dressed in a hip length military coat with a belt. The right breast and waist pockets are closed with a flap. The right arm is bent and behind the back. He is staring off into the distance with a look of determination and slightly downturned mouth. The third statue is standing horizontal to the rest, so the body faces out with head turned to look left. The left side of the statue is obscured by the one in front of it. This figure has a haversack over the right shoulder with the bag in front of him, wearing the same military style coat as the other figures. The fourth statue is dressed as the others and is wearing a helmet. Both arms are by his side. The left shoulder of the fifth statue is obscured by the statue in front. He is wearing the same military style coat, with ammunition boxes on the belt attached to shoulder straps. Each box is small with a snap flap closure. All five figures are looking intently at Eisenhower.

CAPTION: This statue depicts Eisenhower’s visit with paratroopers from the 101st Airborne the evening before D-Day.

QUOTE: 

“The eyes of the world are upon you.”

- Dwight D. Eisenhower, D-Day Statement, 1944

RELATED TEXT:

At West Point, Eisenhower was a good student and a better athlete. As a passionate baseball player, he tried out for the team but didn’t make it. Eisenhower later said, “Not making the baseball team at West Point was one of the greatest disappointments of my life, maybe my greatest.” He turned his attention to football and cheerleading, always leading the team. In 1915, Ike graduated in the top third of his class.

The Army valued Eisenhower for his organizational and team building skills. Rather than sending him to fight in World War I, he was stationed stateside. His first assignment was Fort Sam Houston where he met his future wife, Mamie Geneva Doud. Later, he trained aspiring officers and commanded a tank school. Ike continued to advance his army career; learning, coaching football, and commanding army posts throughout the world. On December 7, 1941, Eisenhower’s skills were called upon to serve in World War II.

Seen as a natural leader by Army Chief of Staff George C. Marshall, Eisenhower was selected for a war plans assignment. He was then sent to Europe where his coaching skills were desperately needed. Eisenhower forged soldiers, sailors, and airmen from the US and other countries into an effective team. Ike’s diplomacy, humility, and patience earned him the trust of military and political leaders which allowed his forces to liberate North Africa, Sicily, and Southern Italy.

The culmination of Dwight D. Eisenhower’s World War II service was the D-Day attack on Nazi-occupied France. On, June 5, 1944, paratroopers jumped from planes while ships and planes bombed the Germans. The next morning, British, Canadian, and American troops stormed ashore from landing craft. US Army Rangers climbed the hundred foot tall cliffs at Pointe du Hoc and destroyed German cannon.

Before carrying out the D-Day attack all servicemen received Ike’s “Order of the Day.” He emphasized the battle’s importance. “You are about to embark on the Great Crusade…The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty loving peoples everywhere march with you.…We will accept nothing less than full Victory!”

Victorious in invading France, Eisenhower’s forces moved across Western Europe into Germany. Together with the Soviet Union, they defeated Nazi Germany. For the rest of his life, Ike remembered the price that his troops paid to preserve democracy. At a D-Day anniversary he visited a Normandy cemetery and said, “these people gave us a chance, and they bought time for us, so that we can do better than we have before.”

When have you been motivated by a great leader? What did they do?

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OVERVIEW: Back side of brochure

The back side of the brochure has two sections. There is a wide black bar with Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial in white text across the top. Below that is a thin brown bar with white text reading "We must be ready to dare all for our country." The text tells the history of Eisenhower's time as President and in retirement. There is a small cut out picture of a bronze coin on the right and a larger picture of a statue grouping from the memorial below. The second section is marked by another thin brown bar with white text that reads "An appropriate permanent memorial...to perpetuate his memory." This section discusses the design of the memorial and includes visitor information. In the center of the text columns is a photo of the tapestry panels on custom welding machines. Below the text is Frank Gehry's pencil drawing of the Point du Hoc skyline used to interpret the landscape in the stainless steel tapestry panels. Below the drawing across the bottom of the page is a photograph of that same landscape.

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IMAGES, QUOTE, and TEXT: We must be ready to dare all for our country

IMAGE 1 of 2

DESCRIBING: A small, cut out photograph of a medallion.

DESCRIPTION: Circular bronze plaque depicting Eisenhower in left profile as an older man. Engraved with Dwight David Eisenhower around the sides and top and a banner with the roman numerals MCMLII on the bottom.

CAPTION: Eisenhower was the 34th President of the United States, serving from 1953 to 1961.

IMAGE 2 of 2

DESCRIBING: A medium sized, cut out photograph of a statue of Eisenhower with advisors.

DESCRIPTION: Image of four bronze statues with patina. Eisenhower is the third statue from the left. The other three statues of men face Eisenhower. Eisenhower is dressed in a business suit with button shirt and tie. His left arm is bent at the elbow. His open hand is held at chest level with the thumb not visible. His right arm is at his side. The hairline is balding with short cropped hair depicted over his ears. The face is deeply creased from nose to chin with mouth  closed in a neutral position. The two statues to the left are dressed in suits, button down shirts and ties. The first statue is a white man positioned with his body facing straight ahead and head turned to the left to look at Eisenhower. His arms are crossed in front of him with left hand over right. The pants are creased, with the right pant leg slightly rumpled. This figure is slightly balding with short hair and has a neutral expression. The second statue is a Black man positioned to face Eisenhower. His left arm is bent and positioned across his abdomen with a closed hand in a fist. The right arm is in line with his leg and is holding a briefcase from the bottom. The briefcase has a handle that is laying flat and a buckle closure. He has close cropped hair with a receding hairline. The third statue is a white man standing on the other side of Eisenhower to the right. This statue is a military officer, with a four-button military coat, button shirt with tie. The coat has two breast pockets and two waist pockets with flaps and a button. His left arm is at his side. The right arm is slightly bent with his hand holding a piece of paper.

CAPTION: This statue shows President Eisenhower standing between civilian and military advisors.

QUOTE: “We must be ready to dare all for our country.”

- Dwight D. Eisenhower, Inaugural Address, 1953

RELATED TEXT:

After the war, Columbia University hired Eisenhower as their president. In 1952, the wildly popular Eisenhower won the presidency of the US using the slogan, “I Like Ike.” Upon taking office, Eisenhower prayed for, “all the people regardless of station, race, or calling.” He raised the minimum wage and grew Social Security. He created the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. Intent on making the US as productive as possible, Ike created the Interstate Highway System.

In his 1953 inaugural address, Eisenhower said, “We reject any insinuation that one race or another... is in any sense inferior or expendable.” He put this idea into practice by enforcing the integration of the military. He signed the Civil Rights Act of 1957, the first civil rights legislation since Reconstruction. Later, he sent 1,200 soldiers to Little Rock, Arkansas to make sure nine African American students could attend high school.

Eisenhower’s first principle for achieving world peace was “abhorring war as a chosen way to balk the purposes of those who threaten us.” He sought to end international conflicts, helping to establish an armistice in Korea. When Britain threatened war on Egypt, his team negotiated a peaceful resolution.

Eisenhower also took aggressive, covert action. His CIA overthrew democratically elected leaders in Iran, Guatemala, and Congo, fearing Communist influence. The US still feels the impact of these actions today. Eisenhower also sent high altitude U-2 spy planes over the Soviet Union. When one was shot down, Ike claimed it was a stray weather aircraft. After the USSR produced the plane’s wreckage and pilot, Eisenhower’s lie was exposed, ending seven years of diplomacy.

The Soviet Union sent the Sputnik satellite into earth orbit in 1957. Meeting this threat, Ike created what became NASA. The space race had begun. From this foundation, the US landed men on the moon 12 years later.

President Eisenhower finished his two terms of office with a hope for peace and a warning. “We must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence... by the military-industrial complex. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals...”

If you could warn the country about something that you deeply care about, what would it be?

Eisenhower left the White House in 1961. He spent the last eight years of his life at his Gettysburg, Pennsylvania farmhouse. His retirement home and farm are preserved by the National Park Service as Eisenhower National Historic Site. Dwight David Eisenhower died on March 28, 1969 from congestive heart failure. He and his wife Mamie are buried in Eisenhower’s hometown of Abilene, Kansas at his presidential library.

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IMAGE, QUOTE, CHART, and TEXT: An appropriate permanent memorial... to perpetuate his memory

DESCRIBING: A medium sized square photograph showing a machine shop.

DESCRIPTION: Small square photograph of a long silver metal worktable with  a section of the stainless steel tapestry on it. The tapestry is secured to the table with thin loops over pins all around the perimeter. There are clamps in trays along the left side of the worktable. Large machinery sits in the far right corner of the table. To the right of the table with the tapestry is a similar table and machinery with no tapestry attached. Behind the machinery are other tables with one woman and three men seated and working at another station. The tapestry that on the table has dark and light areas. The light area appears to be the design of the cliff..

CAPTION: Custom machines welded tapestry panels using software made by the artist’s daughter, Thea Osinski.

QUOTE: “An appropriate permanent memorial... to perpetuate his memory”

- Law establishing the Eisenhower Memorial, 2000

CHART: Tapestry Totals
Size: 447 feet wide and 60 feet tall
Size of panels: 3 feet by 15 feet
Number of panels: 600
Number of Welds: About 82 million

RELATED TEXT:
Artist and architect Tomas Osinski created the tapestry which depicts the Pointe du Hoc promontory of France’s Normandy coastline during peacetime.

It serves as a symbol of the peace Ike won during World War II and maintained as president. The tapestry is made of stainless steel and is bird friendly. The headquarters of the Department of Education, an agency Eisenhower helped to create, can be seen behind the tapestry. The look of the tapestry will change dramatically with the amount of natural and architectural lighting.

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IMAGES: Point du Hoc skyline

IMAGE 1 of 2

DESCRIBING: Frank Gehry’s drawing of the Point due Hoc skyline on the coast of Normandy, France. 

DESCRIPTION: Frank Gehry’s line drawing in black of the Point due Hoc skyline on the coast of Normandy, France. It is oriented from the perspective of the ocean. The cliffs are shaded to indicate shadows and different shades of rock.

CAPTION: Frank Gehry’s drawing above is an interpretation of the Point du Hoc skyline on the coast of Normandy, France below. The drawing is reproduced in the stainless steel tapestry.

IMAGE 2 of 2

DESCRIBING: A large horizontal photograph of the skyline that spans the width of the brochure.

DESCRIPTION: The cliffs and plateau are covered in green grass with shrubs growing in areas. The high cliffs have a variety of color due to rock fall that is seen on the ground level. The top is tan and reddish clay, and the lower portions are shades of light and dark gray. The beach in the foreground is covered in rock fall and is overgrown with grasses with some of the tan and red rock showing through. Farther around the cliff the beach is open and free of rocks. The water is very light gray to blue. The words Flicker/Steve Blackburn are in type just off-center to the right in the water.

CREDIT: FLICKR/Steve Blackburn

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TEXT: Visiting the Memorial

The memorial is located on Independence Avenue SW between 4th and 6th Streets SW. An information area and bookstore are located at the southeast entrance. Staff are available daily except December 25. A free audio tour is available for download at www.n p s.gov slash d d e m slash plan your visit slash audio guide.htm

The memorial is wheelchair accessible.

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OVERVIEW: Accessibility

The memorial is wheelchair accessible. There is a free audio guide available for download on the website at www.n p s. gov slash d d e m.

The memorial does not have dedicated parking but general visitor parking is available around the city. The memorial is accessible by public transportation. The Washington, DC subway system, known as Metro, is conveniently located near the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial. From the L'Enfant Plaza station, exit via Maryland Avenue & 7th Street; from the top of the escalator, the memorial is one block straight ahead. The National Mall Circulator Loop bus provides easy access around the National Mall and convenient connections to other Circulator buses for visits to uptown sites. The Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial is a short walk from the Jefferson Drive and 7th Street SW stop on the National Mall route, or the D Street SW and 7th Street SW stop on the Eastern Market - L'Enfant Plaza route.

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OVERVIEW: More information

The memorial is the seventh presidential memorial in the U.S. and is one of over 400 parks in the National Park System. The National Park Service cares for these special places saved by the American people. To learn more about national parks, visit www.n p s.gov.


More Information
National Mall and Memorial Parks
900 Ohio Drive SW
Washington, DC 2 0 0 2 4
www.nps.gov/ddem

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