Bill Grace

A Prose Piece As Poetry Eulogizing Dwight Eisenhower - Poem by Bill Grace

'The death of President Eisenhower takes from our midst a great Ameican, a great statesman and military leader who served our country in peace and war with sound judgment and outstanding courage.' Speaker of the House John McCormack

In Washington tonight the heart of Dwight David Eisenhower is still. He passed gently from us at 12: 25 this afternoon. President, General of the Army, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Supreme Commander of N.A.T.O., author, and former President of Columbia University; all prove an inadequate measure of the man. For Dwight Eisenhower was the embodiment of an American dream.

Only history can judge the ultimate significance of the 'Eisenhower Years'. It will have much to assess; implementation of containment, the peaceful uses of atomic energy, establishment of coexistence, the first enforcements pertaining to civil rights, the ending of the Korean conflict, and the espousal of the Eisenhower Doctrine, but perhaps most the fact that he moderated the fury of our our domestic politics. Only time can validate whatever judgment we hold.

Official Washington, as well as the world, has paid profuse tribute to this great American. Richard Nixon spoke of his 'unique place in American history'. Lyndon Johnson declared him 'A giant of our age'. Truman praised his military acumen, and Hubert Humphrey his international foresight. Ted Kennedy cited his 'quiet dignity' and Earl Warren stated that he felt an illustrious chapter in world history had closed. Everett Dirksen, the Republican Senate Minority Leader, had the most definitive comment: 'The World Liked Ike.'

Yet the significanc of Dwight David Eisenhower lies not in the world of Washington's movers and shakers. It lies in the genuine and sincere affection with which he was held by his fellow citizens. Of all the beautiful tributes paid to this former President the greatest was given by an anonymous negro woman who, when asked, stopped before the local television cameras and said: 'I think he was a nice man. I'm sorry he died, and I hope he goes to heaven.' Dwight Eisenhower's spirit lives in the hearts of those who knew him. There was no facade.
His intense humanity has not been lost upon us.

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Poem Submitted: Monday, April 7, 2008

Poem Edited: Wednesday, May 14, 2008

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