Now and then, an award created here at Levy Recognition leaves us a little “star struck.” We get excited to see our works of art presented to some of the most famous people in sports, entertainment, humanitarian programs, local government and more. But never before have we had the honor of creating an award of presidential caliber. At least, not until we were contacted by The Florida Holocaust Museum to create a piece that would decorate the awards cabinet of President Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Dwight D. Eisenhower was elected as the 34th President of the United States in 1953. During his presidency, Eisenhower managed Cold War-era tensions with the Soviet Union under the looming threat of nuclear weapons, ended the war in Korea in 1953 and authorized a number of covert anti-communist operations by the CIA around the world. On the home front, Eisenhower strengthened Social Security, created the new Interstate Highway System, and signed an act that would create the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). His enduring achievements both at home and abroad have made him one of the most popular presidents in United States history.
One of Eisenhower’s least recognized achievements occurred before he served as president. While serving as a five-star general in the United States Army, he played a pivotal role in liberating the Nazi concentration camps and documenting what was discovered to ensure that the Holocaust could not be denied nor forgotten. At the end of World War II, Eisenhower made the decision to personally visit as many Nazi concentration camps as possible so that he could document the camps and their appalling conditions. Anticipating a time when Nazi atrocities might be denied, Eisenhower also ordered the filming and photographing of camps as they were liberated.
Wanting to recognize this great effort, The Florida Holocaust Museum contacted Levy Recognition to design an award that would represent Eisenhower’s humanitarian efforts. A large crystal sculpture was created to be presented during a special awards ceremony honoring the late President. In March, the Florida Holocaust Museum presented the 2017 Loebenberg Humanitarian Award posthumously to President Dwight D. Eisenhower. President Eisenhower’s grandson, David Eisenhower, accepted the award. David Eisenhower was presented the Spike Award as a token of the museum’s appreciation. The Spike Award was manufactured from an actual railroad spike that tied together the train tracks of a concentration camp.
David Eisenhower is a historian and the Director of the Institute for Public Service at the Annenberg Public Policy Center. He serves as a senior research fellow at the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School of Communication and is a fellow in the International Relations Department at the University. He has lectured widely to audiences across the U.S. on the Presidency, foreign relations, and World War II. Eisenhower is the author of Eisenhower: At War, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in history in 1986 and the author of numerous magazine articles and book reviews on the subjects of politics and history. His most recent book, co-authored with wife Julie Nixon Eisenhower, is Going Home to Glory, which chronicles the post-Presidency years of his grandfather.
During the ceremony, Walter Loebenberg, the visionary that the Humanitarian award is named after, was also presented a custom award created by Levy. The award is in recognition of his ongoing dedication to Florida Holocaust Museum.
It is such an honor to have helped the Florida Holocaust Museum create an award accepted on behalf of one of our nation’s presidential leaders. To have one of our custom award designs featured as part of the many awards received by President Dwight D. Eisenhower is more than just an honor, but also a testament to the dedication and quality we put in each and every one of our award designs.