17 January 2007

Farewell

Presidential Portrait










Eisenhower D-Day









Eisenhower West Point Graduation




Unlike the draft dodger currently in residence, Dwight D. Eisenhower knew what war was really like and what it meant to make the decisions about the lives of the young men under his command. He also understood how to take responsibility for those decisions. When authorizing D-Day, there was no "mistakes were made". There was no "If you are looking for a scapegoat." It was the statement in his pocket that said it all: Just before D-Day, Eisenhower wrote in a letter that "if there is any blame or fault in the attempt, it is my own," and not that of the men who fought on the beaches."

It was his fame as a successful general that carried Ike into the White House. He loved his country and wanted what was best for the citizens of this nation. When it came time to say goodbye, he wasn't happy about turning the place over to a Democrat, even behaved a little petuantly, but he did care enough to leave the standard message to his replacement in the Presidential desk and he warned his fellow citizens of future problems in his own straightforward Kansas style. That warning was delivered on January 17, 1961.

"Farewell" is an interesting word. It is not only goodbye but a blessing for the future on the people you are leaving: I am going, may all be well with you ... fare thee well. President Dwight D. Eisenhower warns the American people to keep a careful eye on what he calls the "military-industrial complex" that has developed in the post-World War II years. In his last presidential address to the American people, he expressed those concerns in terms that frankly shocked some of his listeners.

Some of his supporters believed that the man who led the country to victory in Europe in World War II and guided the nation through some of the darkest moments of the Cold War was too negative toward the businesses that were the backbone of America's defense, but to many listeners it seemed clear that Eisenhower was merely stating the obvious, and that this new development could weaken or destroy the very institutions and principles it was designed to protect.

It is a shame that none of his successors really listened and still waste national treasure and lives to maintain their own power.

3 comments:

Dexter said...

Hi Durward Discussion.

Dexter said...

Okay...I was a kid of eleven but I remember watching this live on the old Motorola. People may forget that when we had but three TV channels and the President spoke, you watched the President. The words "military industrial complex" burned right into my brain and I never forgot it.
Also, I forgot to post my first memorable convention.
Yes, I was but six years old in 1956 but I knew what was going on because I had a father who explained such things. He was for Adlai, Mom for Ike. I remember I thought the darn thing went on for a month ... after all...George Reeves as Superman ruled MY world! And the convention bumped that off.
At least I think Superman was on then...my favorite TV show was Mighty Mouse .
"Here I come
To save the day!!"
That Means
That Mighty Mouse
Is on the way !!

I had an old spark plug that I flew through the air with my hand. That was Mighty Mouse.
We lived in that one-story little house with only one cold water spigot and an outhouse and we were on top of the world.

Jamie said...

Dexter,

If Mighty Mouse was your cup of tea, you need to dig back into the archives to find "The Whale Sang Opera" If was about a time when children were supposed to join the adult world not vice versa. The cartoons were entertaining for six years old, but the vocabulary used would stump most high schoolers today.