Washington, D.C. -- House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi joined other members
of the Congressional Leadership today in dedicating a statue of President Dwight
D. Eisenhower in the U.S. Capitol. Below are her remarks:
"Thank you Congressman (Todd) Tiahrt, and Senator (Robert) Dole.
"Im honored to join with our distinguished Speaker, Majority Leader Frist, Minority Leader Daschle, the diplomatic corps, leaders from Kansas, and all of you -- on this great day for the Capitol, for the state of Kansas, and for our country.
"Dwight David Eisenhower brought the values of the heartland of Kansas to the White House and to the world. His courage, leadership, and humility led us to victory in World War II and liberated millions of people.
"Thanks to the Eisenhower family and the Eisenhower Foundation for making this dedication today possible. And I commend Jim Brothers - a very talented artist.
"Many of you are from Kansas, and we all know that President Eisenhower shared your great pride for your magnificent state. After victory in World War II, then General Eisenhower returned to Kansas for a homecoming celebration. Out of all of his many accomplishments, he told the adoring crowd: 'The proudest thing I can say today is that I am from Abilene.'
"Id like to put this historic dedication in context because I believe this is the right time and the right place to honor President Eisenhower.
"This is the right time because today -- June 4th -- was a critical day in then-General Eisenhowers life.
"On June 4th 1944, as our troops prepared for D-Day, General Eisenhower gathered with advisors in England. There, he received a very troubling weather forecast that could force a delay in the invasion.
"On this day, June 4th, he had to decide whether to launch the D-Day attack on June 6th -- despite the uncertain weather -- or postpone it and hope for better weather later. He decided to go ahead and launch the greatest sea-borne invasion of all time.
"On this day in 1944, General Eisenhower made the right choice, and his choice made the difference between victory and defeat, between freedom and tyranny for millions of innocents.
"Years later, on this same day, June 4th, President Eisenhower began another chapter in his life. On this day in 1952, he announced his candidacy for the White House. June 4th is certainly the right time for this dedication. And this Rotunda is the right place to honor President Eisenhower.
"President Eisenhower recognized the power and beauty of this room. In May 1954, he stood here in the Rotunda to dedicate the 'Frieze of American History,' which is the beautiful painting overhead that circles the base of the Capitol dome.
"Standing here, President Eisenhower said, 'No man could find words to describe the color and romance -- the dignity and majesty -- of this spot.' The presence of General Dwight David Eisenhower here adds luster to this glorious place.
"President Eisenhower believed in America. He fought to protect it. He worked to make it a better place. And he brought balance and thoughtfulness to everything that he did. President Eisenhower said what he believed and did what he thought was right. And that is why, 50 years after his inauguration, America still likes Ike.
"Thanks to all who have made June 4, 2003 another milestone in the proud legacy of President Dwight David Eisenhower, a great American hero."
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