Service from the Heart of America: Dwight D. Eisenhower Funeral  A U.S. Information Agency film showing the highlights of the Washington, DC, and Abilene funeral services. [EL-MP16-416]

Eisenhower funeral photographs Selected images from the Eisenhower Library's collection.


March 28, 1969

President Dwight D. Eisenhower died at Walter Reed Army Hospital in Washington, DC. His body was transferred to Gawler Funeral Home for burial preparation.

March 29, 1969

11 a.m. - The body arrived at Bethlehem Chapel, Washington National Cathedral, with honor escort of generals and admirals. After a brief ceremony for family, honor guard and honorary civilian pall bearers, the body laid in repose for 28 hours.

March 30, 1969

3 p.m. - The casket was carried from Chapel to hearse. Cortege moved to 16th and Constitution Avenue, where the casket was placed on a caisson.

3:30 p.m. - The funeral procession moved down Constitution Avenue to the Capitol for ceremony, musical honors and a 21-gun salute. Inside the Capitol rotunda, the eulogy was delivered by President Richard Nixon, a presidential wreath was placed by casket and the body to lie in state until the following morning.

5 p.m. - Public admitted to Capitol rotunda to file past casket.

March 31, 1969

4 p.m. - The casket was carried to hearse for return to Washington National Cathedral.

4:30 p.m. - Arrival ceremony at Cathedral's North Transept, followed by Episcopal funeral service in Cathedral attended by 2,107 persons admitted by ticket.

5 p.m. - Casket placed in hearse for trip to Union Station.

April 2, 1969

Arrival of funeral train in Abilene, Kansas.

10:30 a.m. - The funeral in Abilene took place on the grounds of the Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum. The service began on the steps of the Library and concluded inside the Place of Meditation where Eisenhower is buried.


Gun Salutes

There were four gun salutes during the Eisenhower funeral ceremonies:

1. When the body was taken to the Capitol, a saluting battery (1 officer and 13 enlisted men) fired a 21-gun salute at 5 second intervals.

2. When the body arrived at Union Station, a saluting battery (1 officer and 13 enlisted men) fired a 21-gun salute beginning when the hearse entered Delaware Avenue with the last shot fired as the hearse stopped at the entrance at Union Station.

3. Before benediction in Place of Meditation, six howitzers manned by 2 officers and 36 enlisted men delivered a 21-gun salute.

4. After benediction, a firing party (8 members) discharged three volleys.

Flag at half-staff in Washington DC for the passing of General Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Resting Place

Place of Meditation

Located across from the Eisenhower Home is the Place of Meditation, the final resting place of Dwight D. Eisenhower, 34th President of the United States. In November 1979 Mamie Doud Eisenhower was interred in the building. Dwight and Mamie's first born son, Doud Dwight, was interred in 1966. The Place of Meditation was built with private funds under the auspices of the Eisenhower Presidential Library Commission.

Outstanding elements of the interior design of the Place of Meditation are the richly colored windows, the Travertine marble wall panels, the walnut woodwork, and the large embroidered hanging, which carries the words of the prayer that President Eisenhower wrote for his first Inaugural Address on January 20, 1953. There is a meditation portion of the building where, according to General Eisenhower's wishes, it was hoped that visitors would reflect upon the ideals that made this a great nation and pledge themselves again to continued loyalty to those ideals.


The casket is $80 government issue requested by Eisenhower. The only difference between his casket and those furnished for any soldier buried by the Army is an inner glass seal that cost an extra $115. It was lined with tailored eggshell crepe.


General Dwight D. Eisenhower was buried in his World War II uniform. It consists of “pink” trousers and the green “Ike” jacket that he made famous. Although he was one of the most decorated military men in history, his uniform had only the following medals: Army Distinguished Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters, Navy Distinguished Service Medal, and the Legion of Merit.


The vault is bronze and cement. Both Dwight and Mamie's graves are covered with a marble slab.


11 3/4" x 8" x 3/4" bronze.

Marker Inscriptions:


DIED MARCH 28, 1969



Washington, DC Services

Washington, DC funeral service program

Washington, DC funeral service prayers and readings

President Nixon's eulogy of Dwight D. Eisenhower


Honorary Pall Bearers

General Omar Bradley
Admiral Arthur Radford
General Lauris Norstad
Edgar Eisenhower
Milton Eisenhower
General J. Lawton Collins
General Wade H. Haislip
General Alfred M. Gruenther
M/Sgt. John Moaney
Col.G. Gordon Moore


Funeral Service for Dwight D. Eisenhower in Washington Cathedral:

Prelude, "Schmucke dich, o liebe Seele," Johann Sebastian Bach
Chorale - Prelude, "O Welt, ich muss dich lassen," Johannes Brahms
Choir - "The Palms"
Hymn (All) - "Onward Christian Soldiers"
United States Marine Band - "Army Blue," "Lead Kindly Light"

Abilene, Kansas Services

Abilene funeral service program

Abilene memorial service

Abilene burial service


Honorary Pall Bearers

Edgar Eisenhower
Milton Eisenhower*
General Omar Bradley
General J. Lawton Collins
General Lauris Norstad
General Wade H. Haislip
General Alfred M. Gruenther
General Leonard Heaton
Admiral George W. Anderson
Admiral Lewis Strauss
Col. G. Gordon Moore
M/Sgt. John Moaney

*Milton Eisenhower became ill and was hospitalized. General Andrew Goodpaster substituted for him as an honorary pall bearer.

Special Honor Guard

Major General Linton S. Boatwright, Commanding General of the 24th Infantry Division, Fort Riley, Kansas
Major General B. G. Owens, Jr., Assistant Chief of Staff United States Marine Corps
Major General J. T. Robbins, Commanding General of the Twelfth Air Force, Austin, Texas
Rear Admiral H. A. Renken, Commandant of the Ninth Naval District, Cleveland, Ohio
Rear Admiral R. R. Waesche, Commander of the Second Coast Guard District, St. Louis, Missouri


Some of the songs played by the Fifth Army Band in Abilene, Kansas for the funeral:

"Ruffles and Flourishes"
"Hail to the Chief"
"God of Our Fathers"
"Onward, Christian Soldiers"
"Stars and Stripes"
"Lead, Kindly Light"
"National Anthem"
"Army Blue"
"West Point Alma Mater"

Carillon music by the Fifth Army at the Place of Meditation:

"The Old Rugged Cross" (played by Spec. IV David Ralph, 5th Army, Fort Sheridan, Illinois)
"America the Beautiful" (Tape)

Last Revised Date
January 30, 2023