TOPEKA — Construction of a new memorial to President Dwight D. Eisenhower could begin as soon as this spring after a committee voted Thursday to endorse the project.
Building a new memorial requires legislative approval. The Capitol Preservation Committee endorsed the plan Thursday, and Sen. Elaine Bowers, a Concordia Republican, agreed to carry a bill next year authorizing the statue.
The statue would be a replica of the Eisenhower statue housed in the rotunda of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, which depicts Eisenhower speaking to troops before they jumped into Normandy, France, on D-Day in World War II.
John Milburn, a spokesman for the Kansas Department of Administration, said private funds already had been raised to purchase and install the statue.
Eisenhower was born in Texas and raised in Abilene, where his presidential library is located. He attended the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and became Supreme Allied Commander during World War II. Following his military service, he served two terms as president from 1953 until 1961. He died in 1969.
Eisenhower also has a plaque in the sidewalk on the northeast side of the Kansas Capitol grounds.