Even though I’ve lived in Fairfield since 1982, I took my second tour of the Eisenhower Farm today. Despite the tranquility of the property, our guide, Josh, skillfully demonstrated the true identity of Ike: the Midwest child, the West Point grad, the general, the president of the U.S.A., the Gettysburg resident and landowner.
What was most apparent was not his political affiliations, but rather Ike’s character, a man of integrity who met people halfway and listened to their views. An example of this was inviting Nakita Khrushchev to the Eisenhower Farm during the Cold War. Ike did his research, and he listened. He knew Khrushchev had grandchildren, so he arranged for his own grandchildren to be at the visit. Mr. Khrushchev was entranced by Ike’s grandchildren and the gift of a steer, although he was unsure how to get the animal back to Russia! Each grandchild was given a red star with an invitation to visit Russia.
Small attempts at peace go a long way. We don’t always agree with our adversaries, but maybe we can look for small commonalities. General Eisenhower was a master at this and was called on time and time again to demonstrate this skill. It’s so simple but somehow is often forgotten and overlooked in our goal to prevail.