Monday, June 23, 2008

The Churchill Series - Jun. 23, 2008

(One of a series of weekday posts about the life of Winston S. Churchill.)

November 30, 1955 was Churchill’s eighty-first birthday. Among many gifts and good wishes he received, Churchill was especially touched by a gold medallion and letter from one of those he had worked closest with during the war, the then President of the United States, Dwight D. Eisenhower. The medallion, Ike told him, was :

a token of America’s enduring gratitude…

The English-Speaking peoples, and the entire world, are the better for the wisdom of your counsel, for the inspiration of your unflagging optimism and for the heartening example of your shining courage.

You have been a towering leader in the quest for peace, as you were in the battle for freedom through the dark days of war.
Churchill replied that same day with a letter addressed "My dear Friend,"
Your letter has moved me more than I can tell you. As you know, it is my deepest conviction that it is on the friendship between our two nations that the happiness and security of the free peoples rest – and indeed that of the whole world.

Your eloquent words have once more given me proof, if it were needed, that you share my own feeling and reciprocate my personal affection.
Churchill and Eisenhower had many policy difference during the war and when Ike became President. But their relationship was extraordinarily productive and marked by mutual professional respect and personal affection.
Martin Gilbert, Winston S. Churchill: Never Despair. (Vol. 8)