IN June, 1945, Dwight David Eisenhower, supremecommander of the allied armies inEurope, returned to the United States for the first time after the victory inEurope. As the executive who welded more than five million men and women into aunified force, and as a great general, he had received world acclaim. In London,Paris, Washington, New York, West Point and Kansas City the highest honors werebestowed upon him. On the 21st he came home for a visit with members of hisfamily, including his mother and four brothers. He stayed in Abilene two days andwas welcomed in a celebration that demonstrated the pride and affection of hisfellow Kansans.
On June 22 Abilene and Dickinson county held anold-fashioned, non-military,rural parade, featuring scenes and incidents of the Abilene Eisenhower had knownas a boy. In the afternoon he spoke in a park which has been named for him.The next day General Eisenhower visited with his family and that evening hereturned East for a brief vacation. In July he returned to Europe, where on July14 he dissolved supreme headquarters of the allied expeditionary force, andresumed his duties as supreme commander of the American sector and Americanrepresentative on the allied control commission for Germany.
Winston Churchill has described GeneralEisenhower as a "creative, constructiveand combining genius." No soldier ever returned from war in greater glory or withthe gratitude of so many lands and peoples. Unlike many heroes of history, hisconduct since V-E day has added to his stature. Surrounded by adulation, hisspeeches have been notable for humility and common sense, as thefollowing extracts show. Only a few of these speeches were set addresses. Mostwere extemporaneous, although nearly all were broadcast and all were fullyreported.
General Eisenhower's order of the day, May 8:
The crusade on which we embarked in the earlysummer of 1944 has reached itsglorious conclusion. It is my especial privilege, in the name of all nationsrepresented in this theater of war, to commend each of you for the valiantperformance of duty.
From allied headquarters in Reims, May 8:
Merely to name my own present and former principalsubordinates in this theateris to present a picture of the utmost in loyalty, skill, selflessness andefficiency. The United Nations will gratefully remember Tedder, Bradley,Montgomery, Ramsey, Spaatz, DeLattre, and countlessothers.
But all these agree with me in the selection of atruly heroic man of this war.
At Guildhall in London, June 12, after being made an honorarycitizen of the city:
The high sense of distinction I feel in receivingthis great honor from thecity of London is inescapably mingled with feelings of profound sadness. All ofus must always regret that your great country and mine were ever faced with thetragic situation that compelled the appointment of an allied commander in chief,the capacity in which I have just been so extravagantly corm-mended.Humility must always be the portion of any man who receives acclaim earned in theblood of his followers and the sacrifices of his friends. Conceivably a commandermay have been professionally superior. He may have given everything of his heartand mind to meet the spiritual and physical needs of his comrades. He may havewritten a chapter that will glow forever in the pages of military history.Still, even such a man-if he existed-would sadly face the facts that his honorscannot hide in his memories the crosses marking the resting places of the dead.They cannot soothe the anguish of the widow or the orphan whose husband or fatherwill not return.
this symbolism and this rightness in what he has tried to do, then he isdisregardful of courage, fortitude and devotion of the vast multitudes he hasbeen honored to command. If all allied men and women that have served with me inthis war can only know that it is they whom this august body is really honoringtoday, then indeed I will be content.
Parade To the Liberty Memorial in Kansas City, Mo.
Greet Some of the War Wounded From Winter General Hospital.
All such doubts, questions and complacencies couldnot endure a single casualtour through your scarred streets and avenues. With awe our men gazed upon theempty spaces where once had stood buildings erected by the toil and sweat ofpeaceful folk. Our eyes rounded as we saw your women, serving quietly andefficiently in almost every kind of war effort, even with flak batteries. Webecame accustomed to the warning sirens which seemed to compel from the nativeLondoner not even a single hurried step. Gradually we drew closer together untilwe became true partners in war.
may we beat our swords into plowshares and all nations can enjoy thefruitfulness of the earth.
In Paris, June 14:
In one way or another America owes a debt of sentiment or some other kind ofdebt to every nation in Europe. There is the blood of every nation of Europe inAmerica. There may have been differences-you [to Gen. Charles de Gaulle] and Ihave had some. But let us bring our troubles to each other frankly and face themtogether.
Before a joint session of the Congress of the United States in Washington,June18:
Mr. President, Mr. Speaker, and Members of Congress, Ladies and Gentlemen:
men. It is this: The soldier knows how grim and black was the outlook for theallies in 1941 and 1942. He is fully aware of the magnificent way the UnitedNations responded to the threat. To his mind the problems of peace can be no moredifficult than the one you had to solve more than three years ago, and which, inone battle area, has now been brought to a successful conclusion. He knows thatin war the threat of separate annihilation tends to hold allies together; hehopes we can find peace a nobler incentive to produce the same unity.
At the New York City Hall, June 19, after being made an honorary citizen ofthecity:
Mr. Mayor and New Yorkers:
rades felt, that we would almost have to stop. This wasn't the kind of thing towhich we were accustomed. We were simple soldiers coming home from the warsmerely seeking the warmth again of America after what we had been through inEurope.
Airport, June 21, While his Brother Milton Looks On.
Been Named for Him. He Speaks There June 25.
Your quotas on the battle line prevent any such idea creeping into ourthinking. And you can do more than merely your share in producing the arms andequipment that save American lives.
To cadets of the United States Military Academy at West Point, N. Y., June20:
The major thought I bring you today is to cultivate mutual understanding withanyone you think you have to get along with-in my mind that meaning the wholecivilized world.
At the Liberty Memorial, Kansas City, Mo., June 21:
For many months, even years, my associates present with me here today, andmyself, have been wandering on foreign lands. We have returned home. We have comeback to the great Midwest, the most fortunate region under God's blue sky.The world today needs two things: Moral leadership and food. The United Stateswith its great strength and its prosperity is forced, even if unwillingly, into aposition of leadership.
At Eisenhower park, Abilene, June 22:
Because no man is really a man who has left out of himself all of the boy, Iwant to speak first of the dreams of a barefoot boy. Frequently they are to be astreetcar conductor; or he sees himself as the town policeman; above all he mayreach the position of locomotive engineer, but always in hisdreams
is that day when finally he comes home, comes home to a welcome from his ownhome town.
is through that conception that we hope to preserve the peace, and we cannothave any more wars.
General Eisenhower's father, David J., came toKansas from his native state,Pennsylvania. He attended Lane University at Lecompton, where he met IdaElizabeth Stover, native of Virginia, whom he married September 23, 1885. They moved to Hope, Dickinson county, and Mr. Eisenhower operated a general storethere until 1888, when he went to Texas to work for a railroad.  His wife andtwo sons, Arthur and Edgar, soon followed.  They were living at Denison,Tex., when Dwight was born October 14, 1890. A short while later the familyreturned to Kansas and made their home in Abilene. Four more sons were born here:Roy, Paul, Earl and Milton. In 1942 David J. Eisenhower died at Abilene. Paul andRoy are also deceased. Surviving are the mother, who at eighty-three still livesin the home where her family was reared, and five of the boys.
General Eisenhower was christened David Dwight.He attended the Abilene schoolsand was graduated from high school in 1909. As a student he was above the averageand took an active part in sports and dramatics. The Abilene Daily Reflector ofMay 28, 1909, reporting on the senior play, a burlesque of "The Merchant ofVenice," said: "Dwight Eisenhower as Gobbo won plenty of applause and deservedit. He was the best amateur humorous character seen on the Abilene stage in thisgeneration and gave an impression that many professionals fail to reach."
In the fall of 1910 Dwight wrote to U. S. Sen.Joseph L. Bristow at Salina for"an appointment to West Point or Annapolis."  He received a preliminaryexamination in the office of the Kansas state superintendent of publicinstruction at Topeka, October 4 and 5, 1910.
He was second highest among eight competitorswith a grade of 87¼.His lowest mark was 73 in United States history!  He took the entranceexamination at Jefferson Barracks near Saint Louis in January, 1911, and reportedto West Point the following June.  Eisenhower was graduated in 1915 and wasassigned to the Nineteenth infantry at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. Here he metMamie
Doud, of Denver and San Antonio, whom he marriedJuly 1, 1916.  During the first World War he remained in the United States asan instructor. He applied for duty with the newly-activated tank corps and taughttank tactics. It is reported that he was scheduled to sail for France when thearmistice was signed.
After the war Eisenhower's assignments includedthe Panama canal zone, the Command and General Staff School at Leavenworth, theAmerican Battle MonumentsCommission, and the War College. From 1935 to 1939 he served under Gen. DouglasMacArthur as a member of the American military commission to the Philippines. In1941 his brilliant work as chief of staff of the third army during the Louisianamaneuvers led to his appointment as chief of the war plans division inWashington.
On June 24, 1942, General Eisenhower tookcommand of American troops in Europe.He headed the staff of British and American officers who planned the campaign inNorth Africa, which was invaded by the American army November 7, 1942. At theCasablanca conference, January, 1943, he was made commander-in-chief of theallied forces in the North African theater of operations. By May, 1943, Tunisiawas in allied hands. This was followed by the invasions of Sicily and Italy.
At the Teheran conference in December, 1943, hewas appointed supreme commanderfor the final allied invasion of Europe. The first landings were made in NormandyJune 6, 1944, and eleven months later Germany unconditionally surrendered.President Roosevelt's nomination of General Eisenhower as one of the fourfive-star generals of the army was unanimously confirmed by the senate onDecember 15, 1944.
As this issue was going to press it wasannounced that on July 21 the Kansassecretary of state had granted a charter to "The National Foundation to HonorGen. Dwight D. Eisenhower and the United States Armed Forces."
Headquarters of the foundation are to be atAbilene. Its policy as stated in thecharter is "to recognize suitably the military achievements of that greatAmerican, Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, supreme commander of the victorious armedforces in Europe; to confer honor on the living members and on the memory of thedeceased members of the armed forces of the United States, particularly the menand women who served in World War II; to obtain a site, erect and main
tain thereon in General Eisenhowr's home town, Abilene, Kans., a war memorialto those ends; to aid worthy young persons in gaining an education, with aspecial emphasis on the science of government as conceived by our fathers; toassist veterans of World War II, and to perform such acts inbcidental to theabove as the board of trustees of the foundation shall elect."
The proposed memorial will center around theEisenhower family at Abilene, which will be a gift of the Eisenhower brothers.Mrs. Ida Eisenhower, their mother, will continue to occupy the home during herlifetime. General Eisenhower has promised to leave his sourvenirs with thefoundation.
Charles M. Harger, Abilene publisher and long-time friend, will handle the affairs of the foundation until officers and a boardof trustees are elected.
1. New York Times, "Late City Edition," May 9, 1945, p. 10.