EDITORIAL: Eisenhower deserves the latest honor

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Nov. 1—Let's take a minute to say a good word on behalf of Ike.

This week, Georgia's Fort Gordon was renamed Fort Eisenhower, in honor of Dwight D. Eisenhower. It was the last of the nine military bases to be renamed.

Although he was not born in Kansas, he is enough of a Kansan that his presidential library and museum are in Abilene, along with his boyhood home.

"I come from the very heart of America," Eisenhower said in 1945.

He was not a combat veteran, but oversaw invasions of North Africa and Sicily and, of course, D-Day in 1944.

Less than a year after the invasion of Normandy, Eisenhower sent a short statement: "The mission of this Allied Force was fulfilled at 3:00 a.m., local time, May 7, 1945. Eisenhower."

Germany had surrendered unconditionally to the Allies.

"Rising from second lieutenant to commander-in-chief, Eisenhower's extensive, innovative, and effective military experience and leadership shaped our modern world," Maj. Gen. Paul Stanton, Fort Eisenhower's commander, said in a statement during the renaming ceremony. "His dedication to ensuring equal rights for soldiers and citizens alike continues to be an example and inspiration for the present and future soldiers of the Army he so faithfully served and decisively led."

His military record would be enough to earn him the renaming.

But as a Republican president from 1952-1960, Eisenhower usually ranks among our best presidents, frequently in the top 10.

This stands in contrast to John B. Gordon, for whom the base in Georgia had been named, who never served in the U.S. Army, but instead fought to kill U.S. soldiers, and who fought to end the United States and prolong slavery. His record after the war is abysmal too.

As for Eisenhower, he was not perfect, but his was a life of service to the country, as a soldier and statesman. It is fitting that the fort in Georgia be renamed for him. He is worthy of the honor and a proper role model for future soldiers. And politicians.

And it is great to see those values "from the very heart of America" also honored.

"I have said time and again there is no place on this Earth to which I would not travel, there is no chore I would not undertake if I had any faintest hope that, by so doing, I would promote the general cause of world peace," Eisenhower said.