D-Day 75th Anniversary Commemoration

D-Day 75th Anniversary Commemoration
News Article

Washington, DC, May 28, 2019- The National Defense University Foundation (NDUF) collaborated with the National War College Alumni Association to host a reception of remembrance and reflection on the 75th anniversary of the Allied invasion of Normandy. The Foundation was pleased to have the company of Ms. Susan Eisenhower, Dr. Tweed Roosevelt, and Admiral James G. Stavridis. 

Dr. Tweed Roosevelt, and Admiral James G. Stavridis.

We were fortunate to host Ms. Susan Eisenhower, granddaughter of former President Dwight Eisenhower, the Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Forces in Europe on that day in June 1944. Eisenhower spoke about her relationship with her grandfather “Ike,” the legacy of his and America’s role on D-Day, and her renewed resolve to honor the sacrifices of June 6th, 1944.

Her opening remarks were preceded by a dinner reception where attendees had the opportunity to share memories of loved ones who served in World War II. Historical artifacts from the Second World War and D-Day in particular lined the Rotunda of Roosevelt Hall at the National War College. The private collection of Major General J. Milnor Roberts, including Operation Neptune invasion plans, annotated area maps, and related documents, was generously donated by his widow, Mrs. Priscilla Roberts. 

Following dinner, the attendees gathered in the Henry “Hap” Arnold auditorium for a panel discussion on the events of June 6, 1944 and their historical legacy. NDUF President and CEO, Dr. William J. Parker III, moderated the panel, which featured Admiral James G. Stavridis, U.S. Navy (Ret.), and Mr. Tweed Roosevelt, great-grandson of former President Theodore Roosevelt. Admiral Stavridis served as U.S. Southern Command Commander and strategic and long-range planner for the Chief of Naval Operations, as well as serving as NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe. He is also a distinguished graduate of the National War College and the National Defense University. Tweed Roosevelt is Chairman of Roosevelt China Investments and the President of the Board of Trustees of the Theodore Roosevelt Association (TRA); he has been involved with the TRA for over a quarter of a century. In his tenure with that organization, Mr. Roosevelt has done much to further the memory and ideals of Theodore Roosevelt.

Ms. Susan Eisenhower, Dr. Tweed Roosevelt

The conversation covered wide-ranging topics, from the Thucydides trap in a modern context as China positions to challenge US hegemony to contemplating the lessons and legacy of the Second World War in relation to our nation and military today. There were also discussions of Theodore Roosevelt’s precedent of looking forward and preparing and studying the nature of conflict and diplomacy, and his belief that national security education was a necessity for both peacetime and wartime.

President Roosevelt believed firmly in the importance of education and preparation in contributing to our nation’s security. This belief was the driving force that led him to lay the cornerstone for the very building where attendees and relatives of these historical figures gathered to reflect on the past and the United States’ future. It is fitting that these discussions took place at the National Defense University, the preeminent Department of Defense institution for education, research, and outreach in national and international security. 

The National Defense University Foundation is a non-partisan, philanthropic foundation 501(c)(3) established to support the National Defense University’s mission of joint strategic education and leader development. The Foundation seeks to drive excellence and innovation in the faculty and student body through a rich array of original initiatives, outreach, and financial support.