Memorial Service for The Honorable Dwight D. Eisenhower
The Place of Meditation, Abilene, Kansas, April 2, 1969
I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills,
From whence cometh my help.
My help cometh from the Lord,
Which made heaven and earth.
He will not suffer thy foot to be moved:
He that keepeth thee will not slumber.
Behold, He that keepeth Israel
Shall neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord is thy keeper:
The Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand.
The sun shall not smite thee by day,
Nor the moon by night.
The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil:
He shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in
From this time forth, and even for evermore.
The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
He leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul:
He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me;
Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies:
Thou annointest my head with oil;
My cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life:
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
Dwight David Eisenhower was held in esteem as the First Citizen of the World, but he was first citizens of Abilene, Kansas. Mrs. Eisenhower said that although he traveled the world, he always thought of and loved his town of Abilene.
Here he spent his boyhood days, and here his character was formed and shaped in the Eisenhower family. Because of his Kansas heritage it is most fitting that he be laid to rest near his family home.
President Nixon quoted the General as saying once, “I come from the heart of America,” and so it is to the heart of America General Eisenhower has returned today.
I would speak also of a companion-soldier, Mamie Doud Eisenhower. Mrs. Eisenhower graciously shared her husband with the world, but he belonged uniquely to her in the relationship of marriage. During fifty three years of marriage she fulfilled, with unusual fidelity and devotion, her wedding vows: “To be thy loving and faithful wife; in plenty and in want; in joy and in sorrow; in sickness and in health; as long as we both shall live.”
In a day when wedding vows are often taken lightly, Mrs. Eisenhower stands as a symbol of the beauty and holiness of marriage.
In Micah we read: “He has showed you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”
Dwight David Eisenhower, in his long life of service to God and man, fulfilled this threefold prophetic requirement: that of justice in the daily relationships of life, kindness to one’s fellows, and walking humbly before God.
In an interview in Palm Desert, California, the General expressed these convictions: Some day, he firmly believed, he would stand before his God; for his personal faith told him there is a life ahead. And of this, too, he was convinced: that the same Lord who was with him on Malta, and during those anxious early hours of D-Day when he headed the mightiest invasion in history, will stand with him at the beginning of the greatest adventure of his career...entrance into eternal life. “Well done, good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your Master.”
Let us pray:
Father of all mercies and God of all comfort, who hast brought life and immortality to light through our Lord Jesus Christ, we thank Thee that ‘Live is ever Lord of death, and love can never lose its own.
We praise Thee for the inspiration of Christian friendships; especially do we thank Thee for Thy servant, Dwight David Eisenhower, whose memory we are here to honor.
For the gentleness of his character, the breadth of his sympathies, the power of his convictions, his genius for friendship, his patriotism as a citizen, his high honor as a man, and for his devotion to Christ and his church - we give Thee thanks.
Give especially to those who most intimately mourn his going, wide margins of comfort around their spiritual need and deep wells to draw their consolation from.
Now that for a time we have parted, we beseech Thee to bless the family circle that is severed, and the comrades who are bereft. As Thou hast given them this new tie to bind them to the world unseen, so grant unto them that where their treasure is, there may their hearts be also.
Once more we stand upon the shore of the sea and bid farewell to a ship that loses itself over the rim of the world. O God, give fair voyaging and safe harbor! And as we stand upon this hither shore and bid farewell, grant us faith to hear the voices which on yonder shore cry, ‘Welcome!’ and ‘All hail!’
And unto Thee shall be the glory forever, world without end. Amen