1969 recording of memorial service at Eisenhower for Dwight D. Eisenhower
Ladies and Gentlemen, at this particular point I will ask you to remain quiet with no kind of applause. When I ask you to stand very shortly, I will ask that you remain standing until the invocation is completed.
Will you now stand for the National Anthem.
Today we are gathered to honor one of the greatest men, citizens and statesmen the world has known in the 20th century - Dwight David Eisenhower. Destiny chose this man, above all others to lead our nation in a time of trouble and turmoil. The eight years he held in office were eight of the most tension ridden in our history. This man who gained his stature as a general in the bloodiest war in our history, whose heart had to make the decisions to send men to their deaths at Normandy, the Bulge, and the whole European theater was the man who lead our country through the eight years of peace in a most troubled time. And after a valiant struggle against his ailments, he died this morning. Perhaps it was these important and hard decisions that placed the extra burden on his heart and conscience. But truly it is ironic that a man who was a leader in war was also such a great man in peace. In losing Dwight David Eisenhower, the United States and the world have lost a true friend and statesman. But he will live, old soldiers never do die, and let us here affirm that neither will our namesake ever fade away.
So that our composition may be more meaningful to you, we would like to translate the words, they're very short, very simple "Christ Be Merciful" -- Choir sings
A slight deviation from the program, yesterday, the student council on behalf of the Eisenhower student body sent a telegram. We will ask Carol Wasson at this time to read the telegram to you:
General Eisenhower, it seems unjust that a heart of such valor, having been so burdened by the decisions of command and world leadership should not go on forever. Perhaps it will be of some comfort to know that the students and faculty of Eisenhower High School will never allow what the man, the commander-in-chief, the peacemaker, the statesman, our president, the world leader, our namesake, stood for, to ever fade away from us. In that way, we affirm that you will live forever. Each of us, in his own way, prays for your recovery.
In this audience there are a few staff members, and in the class of 1969 we find the last of the students who attended Eisenhower 6 years, when we were a combination Jr./Sr. High. These are the people who will remember, and never forget a day in March of 1963, when President Eisenhower dedicated this gymnasium. Many of us of WWII vintage will always think of him as General Ike. Today we will hear a recording of his message to the Eisenhower students and staff.
1963 recording of General Dwight D. Eisenhower
First of all welcome students of Eisenhower Sr. and Jr. High School, and the many parents and adults who are here. There is no need to mention we're honored, and privileged and joy? any other ____ for Eisenhower Sr. high school students. Very few high schools in history have had this honor, to have a president or ex-president come and gratify their school with his works. Our school is named after a great man. I now give you - President and General, Dwight David Eisenhower.
Mr. Ryan, Mr. Mueller, Mr. Wheaton, Mr. Vaughan, faculty, students and friends of the Eisenhower school. This is a unusual and indeed unique honor for me. All over the world I have addressed academic audiences: universities, colleges, and secondary schools. But never before has it been my privilege to address a body of the school that bear my name. And I am indeed complimented that this city, this area, named their school after me. So I thank each of you that had a part in it.
I noticed it on the schedule I am slated for a few remarks. Now I could spend all of that time telling you the things that I do NOT know about, that I SHOULD know I suppose when I'm (was) a high school student. Even the vocabulary of the average high school student today rather puzzles me. (Chuckles) And I'm not talking about, you might say, the more social parts of vocabulary. I'm talking about the scientific. When I took physics, we never heard such words as electrons and neutrons, I know nothing about space and nuclear science. And particularly I do not know anything about this new mathematics. Every time a mathematic teacher tells me about it I seem to be more bewildered. I had one just yesterday brought a class up to ___(El Dorado)___ and she said she taught math. And I said, "Well what do you mean when you don't have a base of ten?" After she got done, I _____. Its not her fault but mine.
But there a few things that I think I do know something about. I know about the kinds of governments that we see and have today in our work throughout the earth. We have them in different scales of freedom and some places where freedom is completely denied. Now if there is any one single thing, any one subject, that I believe every student should be learning something about from the time he is in the primary class until he's finished his doctorate in education and then throughout the entire rest of his life is this. How can we make self-government work? I understand that I'm going to have the privilege this morning of going into one classroom in which we are going to talk about the problems of democracy. And I assure you I'm going to keep very still, because I want to learn something. I want to learn what you people believe are the responsibilities of the student today. But I am certain of this. Each us must dedicate himself to doing his part in this business of self-government. And if he doesn't, he shouldn't be part of self-government. He is not truly a good citizen of the United States, unless he or she knows how to perform the duties, carries the responsibilities, and enjoying the rights that self-government can make upon the individual. Now if she wants to know how to do it, she must know what it is. What are these (dangers). Or he or she will have to know what those dangers are. The risks. the weaknesses and the strengths of democracy.
I am sure that in the class that I'll visit, the students have read about ___Nupali___ and his observations about democracy, the ____ field, and many others. Every one of them, has learned 100 years ago, more than 200 years ago that other authors, that democracy is never going to last unless each gives into it more than he takes out. When we begin to discover that we can support ourselves by digging into the federal treasury and we're not ready to do this by self dependance. Doing our part in the whole society and the whole society in which we are a part, then democracy is weakened and eventually will disappear. A professor writing 200 years ago, he wrote about the extinction of democracy in the Athenian republic of two thousand years later. And he said the citizens learned that by their votes they could take for themselves out of the federal treasury. And then we were done.
Now today if I could leave with you just one thought, it would be this much as you will learn from your teachers and professors about the general facts of life, the culture of America, the scientific beginnings and elementary science that you'll be taking, you just must learn how are you going to sustain your God given rights - to be yourself, a free citizen, living in the proudest and richest and finest country in the world and your going to carry the responsibility to do that yourself because in the long run if you don't do that there IS no self-government. By no means do I want to talk like I am warning from a malediction that is taking place or anything of that kind. I just say that the very nature of democracy demand that every single one of us is aware of its strengths, of its weaknesses and there'll be all kinds? _with our whole hearts? And as long as we do I assure you America will go on down through the red lanes of time, leading people to greater happiness, greater provenance, secure peace, and indeed to higher spiritual, intellectual, and material status. This is the American mission in the world and it can be done only in freedom. As long as she enjoys every single bit of self-government. So I congratulate you on your great opportunities and I shall watch you and all your compatriots throughout the United States of your age as long as I live, to see how you measure up or rather how eagerly you dove into the fray to defend self-government.
To each of you I extend my thanks for your cordial welcome, I assure you again its a tremendous honor for me after these some three years or four years now to come over here and to greet you, to say to you - I'm delighted that your school carried my name. Goodbye, good luck.
Conclusion of 1969 recording
Benediction -- Choir sings
Playing of "Hail to the Chief"