The annual Eisenhower Pilgrimage was held at the Dwight D. Eisenhower complex in Abilene, Kans. on Oct. 12.
The event was co-sponsored by the Kansas American Legion and the American Legion Auxiliary in cooperation with the Eisenhower Presidential Library.
Master of Ceremonies John Meyeres managed the event beginning with opening remarks followed by the posting of colors by Abilene Post No. 39 Honor Guard.
The Ft. Riley 1st Infantry Division Band played the National Anthem followed by the invocation by Harold Randa.
Nancy Evans led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Marri Krupco and Paula Sellens introduced several guests followed by remarks by Dawn Hammatt, Director of the Eisenhower President library.
State Eisenhower Committeewoman Ida Meyeres and State Eisenhower Auxiliary Chair presided over the wreath laying ceremony.
Master of Ceremonies Meyers introduced the Guest speaker Captain Kyle P. Higgins, USN Commanding officer, US Eisenhower.
The Abilene Post No. 39 Honor Guard presented a three-volley salute followed by TAPS by the 1st Infantry Division Band.
Harold Randa offered the benediction and Abilene Post No. 39 Honor Guard retired the colors.
Following the events was a Dwight D. Eisenhower Museum rededication and ribbon cutting ceremony.
Dawn Hammatt welcomed the attendees followed by an invocation by Chaplain Marlon Brown, the 1st Infantry Division Band played the Star-Spangled banner followed by the keynote address by Mary Jean Eisenhower, President Eisenhower’s granddaughter.
Department Master-at-Arms Charles Sellens has attended Eisenhower Pilgrimages for many years.
"I was very impressed that The Honorable Carole L. Brookins and Retired Four-star French General Oliver Tramond attended," Sellens said. "When Ms. Brookins told me that the First Alliance Foundation was largely responsible for magnificent Eisenhower – De Gaulle display, I was doubly impressed."
"I was so honored to visit the Eisenhower President Library and Museum with our foundation Co-Chairman French Lt. Gen (Rt) Oliver Tramond," Brookins said. "The important reopening of the wonderful museum tells the story of our great American Leader Dwight D. Eisenhower."
The mission of the First Alliance Foundation is to honor and enhance the enduring French American strategic and military alliance. We were very privileged to support the new exhibition "Eisenhower and de Gaulle from Alliant to Friendship in War and Peace" which is on display in Abilene.
The exhibition was curated by the Eisenhower President Library in Abilene; in coordinating the Charles de Gaulle Foundation Museum of the Army in Paris.
The exhibit tells the story of those two great leaders.
Dwight Eisenhower’s life story had great parallels with the WW II leader of the Free French General Charles de Gaulle.
Their personal friendship and respect for one another tells a treasured story of our French - American alliance.
More than 40,000 people visited the exhibit in Paris over the past summer at the Museum of the Army at the Invalides.
We hope that visitors will come to Abilene and learn this new story about our cherished and Past President Dwight Eisenhower.