Today is “D” day that marks the beginning of a numerous Eisenhower-themed events and occurrences to take place at the Eisenhower National Historic Site. Some events will even be ongoing all summer long starting this week and lasting throughout the summer.
Starting today, June 17 and lasting through to August 17 is an event called Exploring Eisenhower. As its name denotes, this summer event is all about exploring the life and career of this former president of the United States during the Cold War era. Get to learn Ike personally from his frustrations when playing golf, the lengths of his Secret Service protection and plenty more. Exploring Eisenhower entails a 30-minute guided walking tour provided by the National Park Service. Starting today, these tours will be offered daily at the following select times: 10:15 a.m., 11:15 a.m., 1:15 p.m. and 2:15 p.m.
In addition to Exploring Eisenhower, there is another ongoing summer program at the Eisenhower National Historic Site to start today, June 7 and run through August 17. Eisenhower and the Men of D-Day is a summer program that will be offered daily at 12:15 p.m. and then again at 3:15 p.m. Come out and learn all about what it meant to be an American infantry soldier under Eisenhower’s command during the D-Day invasion. You will also learn about and have the chance to see the actual weapons and equipment used by real soldiers. Contact information to learn more about this summer program is the same as the information stated above.
There’s something special just for kids. Young visitors to the Eisenhower National Historic Site, ranging in age from 7 to 12, have the chance to get in on the action and become Junior Secret Service Agents. All they have to do is complete self-guided activities in their Junior Secret Service Training Manual, which will be provided on site when requested. Once completed, these new Secret Service agents will be awarded special badges and certificates, stating their new status.
To top all these upcoming daily summer events will be a special kickoff ceremony to be held today, June 7. All day long, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., will be a special commemoration and anniversary acknowledgement celebration of the anniversary of D-Day—the Allied invasion of Normandy, France. Made possible by a grant from the Dwight D. Eisenhower Society, this program, to be held onsite details the steps and impacts of the launching of the D-Day invasion as the most crucial decision Eisenhower had to make during his time as Supreme Allied Commander in World War II. From the early morning meeting with staff on June 5 to the 36 hour break in torrential rains, to the crucial hours, step by step, this program will cover all the moments that initially led up to the event.
Park rangers will assist in leading the program, and there will even be a living history encampment set up along the grounds. Visitors to the site will be permitted to stroll along the camp and even hold informal chats with living historians between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
All of the above events will take place at the Eisenhower National Historic Site, which is open daily. All visits are arranged through a shuttle bus service from the Gettysburg National Military Park Visitor Center at 1195 Baltimore Pike in Gettysburg. Shuttles depart every 30 minutes between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Admission is $7.50 for adults, $5 for children ages 6 to 12 and free for children under 6. For more information contact the Eisenhower National Historic Site at 717-338-9114 or visit www.nps.gov/eise.