“Some folks were born to wave the flag,”
“Some folks inherit star spangled eyes.” — John Fogerty
I ain’t no fortunate son, naw, naw. Well, at least not in the sense that Fogerty spoke. My father was a farmer. He also co-owned a clothes cleaning business and did free-lance plumbing and electrical wiring work with his brother. He was a proud veteran of World War II, and when we visited the D-Day Museum in New Orleans, said that his favorite memory of the war was the receipt of his honorable discharge. My father crossed Europe in Patton’s Third Army and fought in the Battle of the Bulge.
Neither of my grandparents were alive when I reached the age of awareness, but because my father served for Patton, who served for Eisenhower, I guess only four degrees of separation exist between me and David Eisenhower, the author of Going Home to Glory: A Memoir of Life with Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1961 – 1969.
My father died the day after Veterans Day at age ninety-two — a fitting end to a great and honorable man who was never elected President, and the Etier legacy is secure with his accomplishments. Memories of my father are cherished and priceless. Not many men can say that their grandfather was President and that he himself married the daughter of another President. Life does not allow us to choose our ancestors and it’s probably a good thing.
David Eisenhower (the Presidential retreat in Maryland was named for him), along with his wife, Julie Nixon Eisenhower, has written a well researched and documented book about his grandfather — a man he had to share with the world. His story is of a warm, loving man who had many people to care about and was judicious with his love, affection, and time.
Going Home to Glory is divided into two parts. The first part, “General Eisenhower” begins with the retirement of the President to Gettysburg and then flashes back to the war years. Part Two begins with a story of the author’s visit with Averell Harriman’s Georgetown home and the discovery of a painting with the initials “D.E.”. Giving away one of his paintings was Eisenhower’s most genuine tokens of friendship. Even though Harriman and Eisenhower had parted ways, his comments and thoughts were included along with many others.
Filled with personal stories and historical anecdotes, Going Home to Glory will shed new light on our 34th President and inspire fathers, sons and grandsons to face the future with the confidence of their shared past. In some ways, maybe David and I are fortunate sons.
Going Home to Glory: A Memoir of Life with Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1961 – 1969, will be released on October 26, 2010 by Simon and Schuster and includes eight pages of black and white photos.