50 years ago: World mourns death of Eisenhower

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In the April 3, 1969 edition of the Caymanian Weekly, a precursor of the Cayman Compass, the front page carried a report on the local and worldwide response to death of former U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower. It read:

“Caymanians join with the rest of the free world in mourning the loss of famous wartime hero, General Dwight David Eisenhower, who died at the age of 78 years, at Walter Reed Army Hospital last Friday, March 28.

“Flags throughout the island can be seen flying at half-mast in a final tribute. His Honour the Administrator sent condolences to the Eisenhower family. The cable read as follows: ‘The Government and people of the Cayman Islands send their sincere and heartfelt condolences to the Eisenhower family and to the United States Government at the passing of a great world figure to whom so much was owed. These islands join the world in mourning him.’

“Among the main dignitaries and Heads of States in Washington to pay their last respects was Lord Mountbatten who represented the Queen.

“President Richard Nixon, personal friend of the late, former president, declared a national day of mourning last Monday and all international flags will be flown at half-mast for 30 days throughout the United States.

“Messages of sympathy flooded into the United States from all over the world. Press, radio and television featured extracts of his life from childhood through his military career and from the proud pages of American history – his efforts in gaining victory in Europe in 1945.

“‘Ike’ as he was known to his comrades, colleagues in battle, and friends, fondly remember him not only as a leader in a time of crisis, but as a man with a love for his fellow man, who was never too preoccupied to see the humane side of things – a good man, some say – always with a friendly smile even to cheer his comrades in battle at the moments of despair, while yet remaining powerful and determined in victory.

“Volumes can be written of this statesman and indeed many have already been. But one thing is certain, those of us fortunate enough to have lived in part of the era of his life, can surely agree, the world has lost a great statesman.”

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