The distinguished Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Richard B. Myers, will receive the Library’s 2005 Architect of Peace award at a black-tie gala tribute dinner on Thursday, November 3 in the Library’s elegant new White House East Room.
Major General William Lyon, who served as the chief of the Air Force Reserve from 1975 to 1979, has been named chairman of the event. General Lyon is chairman of the board and chief executive officer of William Lyon Homes headquartered in Newport Beach. Active in many Orange County organizations, he and wife Willa Dean have been involved in Boy Scouts, the Orange County Performing Arts Center, the Orangewood Children’s Foundation and many other organizations and causes.
Earlier this year, Major General Lyon received the Chairman’s Distinguished Public Service Award from General Myers in part for his involvement in Operation Smile which provides free reconstructive surgery to children and young adults worldwide. Most recently, they been providing surgery for the affected children of Iraq and Afghanistan, and have worked to train Iraqi surgeons in the latest medical techniques.
Tricia Nixon Cox and Julie Nixon Eisenhower will serve as co-chairs. Honorary dinner chairs include President and Mrs. George H.W. Bush, Vice President and Mrs. Dick Cheney, President and Mrs. Gerald R. Ford, Dr. and Mrs. Henry A. Kissinger and former Secretary of State and Mrs. George Shultz.
General Myers serves as leader of America’s Armed Services and principal military advisor to the President, the Secretary of Defense and the National Security Council. He entered the Air Force in 1965 and is a command pilot with more than 4,100 flying hours, including 600 combat hours.
Named Joint Chiefs chair in 2001 by President Bush, General Myers will retire in October and the Architect of Peace award gala at the Nixon Library will be among his first public appearances since leaving active duty. He will be accompanied by his wife, Mary Jo.
November 3 is coincidentally the 36th anniversary of President Nixon’s triumphant Silent Majority address which drew the largest television audience of any Presidential speech in history. The overwhelmingly positive public reaction made it clear that despite heated domestic controversy, President Nixon had the approval of the American people and the mandate to conduct the war in Vietnam as he saw fit.
Previous Architect of Peace award honorees have been Secretaries of State Henry A. Kissinger and George P. Shultz; Vice President and the Hon. Lynne Cheney; Senator Elizabeth Dole; Federal Reserve Chair Alan Greenspan; General Alexander M. Haig; Treasury Secretary William E. Simon; Senator Robert Dole and Ambassador Walter H, Annenberg.
Formal invitations will be mailed in early September, but advance reservations can be made by contacting Kathy O’Connor at 714/993-3393 ext. 240.