On June, 6, 1944, the world was changed forever. The D-Day landings in Normandy, France, altered the trajectory of World War II and resulted in one of the largest military successes in history. As the 75th anniversary of D-Day fast approaches on June 6, 2019, the Eisenhower Foundation turned to the words and thoughts of Dwight D. Eisenhower and asked themselves, what would Ike want us to do to commemorate this important anniversary? He would want the honor to be given to all World War II soldiers who served, not just himself.
In honor of the 75th anniversary of D-Day, we’ve launched a new initiative called Ike’s Soldiers. The mission of Ike’s Soldiers is to honor General Eisenhower’s legacy through the compelling stories of the soldiers he led and share them with the world through IKEducation programs and digital media platforms. “This initiative provides students, teachers, historians, and citizens of the world the opportunity to become part of history by collecting and submitting these stories to the
Eisenhower Foundation’s new Ike’s Soldiers database,” stated Meredith Sleichter, Executive Director. “By doing so, we honor the soldiers who led us to one of the biggest victories in world history and provide future generations with the opportunity to hear first-hand accounts about the experience.”
The Ike’s Soldiers team had an opportunity to visit with former Kansas Senator Bob Dole, pictured at right. His interview can befound on the Ike’s Soldiers website: www.IkesSoldiers.com.
Sen. Dole said, “I am pleased that the Ike’s Soldiers initiative is capturing these compelling stories of World War II veterans. For our disappearing generation, these first-hand accounts will ensure that history is preserved — reminding future generations of the sacrifices made to preserve our everyday freedoms.”
Ike’s Soldiers is currently focused on capturing video testimonies from our remaining World War II veterans. The program is open to all friends, family members, or fans of World War II veterans. Participants are asked to collect their World War II veteran’s biographical information and story on video, then submit it to Ike’s Soldiers. One of the driving forces behind Ike’s Soldiers is inviting young people to get involved. The Ike’s Soldiers student program is open to high school and college students. Visit www.IkesSoldiers.com for more information.
Ike’s Soldiers was first made possible by a grant from The Cain Foundation (Austin, TX) in honor of Staff Sgt. Frank Denius (1925-2018), one of the 10 most decorated soldiers from the European Front in World War II, and the 30th Infantry Division, known as “Old Hickory.” Recently, Crown Family Philanthropies (Chicago, IL) provided a grant in honor of Colonel Henry Crown (1896-1990), whose wartime efforts as a procurement officer earned him the Legion of Merit for saving America and her Allies hundreds of millions of dollars.