Lessons from Ike

Editor, Gettysburg Times,

I enjoyed Alex Hayes’ column today (Aug. 2) on volunteerism. Spending time with others in a communal activity is the best way to take some positive action against the nagging negativism of American social media. I remember Vice-President, Spiro Agnew, whom I did not support, saying the media were “nattering nabobs of negativity.” Of course. he was referring to print and electronic media making the case for Nixon’s impeachment. While I did not agree with media critic Agnew at the time, there is some truth to the incessant 24-7 coverage, then and now, of all things political that deadens the individual spirit and confuses the populace.

My volunteer work is as a docent at the Eisenhower National Historic Site, just outside the Gettysburg battlefield.

For the past seven years, I’ve tried to be factual and friendly to the many thousands of visitors we receive from all over the world. Having majored in American History is college, my one huge hero of the pre-and post World War II world was President Dwight D. Eisenhower. He was powerful and yet kindly in his dealings with national and world problems. He did not demean people for disagreeing with him, but by strength of his argument, he won over the other side to his way of thinking. He believed in compromise, a dirty word today, but not when he lived. . Many U.S.combat soldiers did not die in battle as a result of his actions. As Supreme Allied Commander in Europe during WWII, he shortened the war in Europe by crossing the Rhine in record time and forcing the Nazis to surrender unconditionally on May 7, 1945. He ended the Korean fighting in 1953 saving the lives of many thousands of American soldiers. I’m sorry but I could go on and on. However, Ike represented a courageous and moral and honest approach to world crisis that today is sorely missed.

I am a volunteer at the Eisenhower farm because he lived to be the most trusted political figure in the world at that time. His allies were the countries protected by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Britain, France, West Germany, et al. The Soviet Union (later Russia) were not the friends of the United States. I wonder what Ike would do with the current treachery of Russia actually influencing our elections! I don’t think Ike would stand for this act of war for five minutes.

Edward J. Thompson,


(1) comment

James Rife

"I don’t think Ike would stand for this act of war for five minutes." So you want to bomb the Russians, Ed?

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