|Letter from Dawn Higgins
Murphy, Daughter of Andrew Jackson Higgins
When Jerry Meyer first informed me of the
interest in having a memorial built honoring my father, Andrew Jackson
Higgins, my family was surprised, but very interested and excited.
On learning of Nebraska governor Mike Johanns signing of a proclamation
making August 28th Andrew Higgins Day, I knew that I must make a trip
to Columbus to personally thank the many people who are trying to make
the memorial project a reality. My husband, daughter and I made
the trip from Jackson, Mississippi in time for Columbus Mayor Gary Giebelhaus'
signing of a city proclamation, again making August 28th, my fathers'
birthday, a memorable time for our family.
I can never thank the many people we met
in Columbus enough for their help in giving the Higgins name a new life.
I look forward to our next visit, hopefully next August, and to seeing
our many new friends again.
Letter from Andre'e
Higgins Stefferud, Daughter of Andrew Jackson Higgins
I was surprised, pleased
and honored to get your letter today about your plans for a memorial in
Columbus in honor of my father. Your preparations and research clearly
indicate a deep interest and commitment to the remembrance of the "greatest
generation", as Tom Brokaw called it, and I'm proud that my father was
a member of that generation and was able to contribute so much to the
country he loved.
I know that much of my
father's determination and patriotism was formed in Nebraska, and that
he would be very pleased to be remembered by the people of Columbus.
When my husband, David, and I come, as we surely intend, I will bring
some old clippings and papers which will show the warm relationship between
the Higgins family and Nebraska. We have not been there, but certainly
look forward to coming.
I wish you every success
in your project and I will do all I can to help.
Letter from the Governor
I have received your letter
regarding your efforts to establish a memorial to Andrew Jackson Higgins
in Columbus, Nebraska. Thank you for writing me.
World War II marked a turning
point in world history and there has never been one event since then that
has impacted society in such an important way. The Allied victory,
especially the D-Day invasion, could never have succeeded had it not been
for Andrew Higgins' foresight. The Higgins boat was vital to victory
and I want to wish you the best as you establish a memorial to him in
Again, thank you for writing.
Letter from Tom Brokow
I'm not surprised Andrew Jackson
Higgins was born in Nebraska. After all, he embodied the pioneer
"can-do" spirit of your state.
Good luck with you project.
It's important for current and future generations to know the stories
of accomplishments that are rooted in Columbus.
Letter from Jerry Strahan,
As Andrew Jackson
Higgins biographer, I wish to state that I enthusiastically support
you project to honor Mr. Higgins in the city of his birth.
Supreme Allied Commander Dwight Eisenhower once called Higgins,
"the man who won the war for us." Adolf Hitler once referred
to him as the "New Noah" And, Captain R.R.M. Emmett, who commanded
landing forces in North Africa and later became commandant of the
Great Lakes Training Station, wrote during the war, "When the history
of this war is finally written by historians, far enough removed
from its present turmoil and clamor to be cool and impartial, I
predict that they will place Mr. Higgins very high on the list of
those who deserve the commendation and gratitude of all citizens."
Every city in the United States
would love to claim Mr. Higgins as one of its own. New Orleans does
so as an adopted son. For it was here that Higgins' plants produced
20,094 boats for the war effort. In recognition of his accomplishments,
we have named a prominent street after him and have featured him in the
National D-Day Museum. While we honor him as an adopted son, Columbus
solely has the right to claim him as its own true son. It is only
fitting and proper that through the "Higgins Memorial Project" Columbus
now rightly honors one of its own.