Just some thoughts:
“I’D BE SURPRISED”
Imagine this. You are told to come to your boss’s office. Your anticipation is that he is going to promote you to a position that you have always wanted. Once there you learn that is not the case and you will now be asked to recommend and then be responsible for the hiring of someone for the position that you thought was going to be given to you. How would you like them apples?
“Stimson was among the few who suggested that Marshall must have been profoundly disappointed. Stimson claimed that he had finally wrung out of Marshall an admission that he desired “above all things” to command OVERLORD.”
George Marshall–Defender of the Republic
David L. Roll
When Eisenhower was appointed to command OVERLORD Marshall wrote an hand written note on the orders Ike received. The note said:
“Dear Eisenhower I thought you might like to have this as a memento. It was written very hurriedly by me the final meeting broke up yesterday, the President signed it immediately.” Again quoting from Roll’s book.
Eisenhower would later recall “it one of my most cherished mementos of WW II.
After WW II Marshall thought he would be retiring. In 1947 the phone rang at his house. His wife Katherine answered. Handing the phone to husband she is supposedly to have said, “You best not unpack, its the President.” It was President Harry Truman asking Marshall to return to government as his Secretary of State and head up the recovery program for the rebuilding of Europe. What then became known as the Marshall Plan.
Orson Wells–“George Marshall is the greatest man I ever met.”
Harry Truman–“He won the war”
James Conant–President of Harvard–“He is the only solider-statesman in the history of America to be compared favorably with George Washington.”
He along with Roosevelt and Eisenhower probably were the three most respected Americans in Europe.
Interesting Marshall never voted.Once when asked what party he supported his answer: “Episcopalian.”
He served under ten president, occupies a place few others in our country’s history have ever found themselves. Sadly his significance’s is fading from our memory but his achievements and character should never be forgotten.
While Ole Lewis Grizzard may have tagged Weyman C. Wannamaker, Jr., as “One Great American” I would tag this man, George C. Marshall as one of the greatest in American history. Possibly even in the history of the world.
I would be surprised today if one in ten people under the age of sixty knew who Marshall was and his significance in world history. I took heart while in Germany that a man I met, who was in his mid thirties, did know who Marshall was. He spoke glowing of him, his country and what they both did for Germany following WW II.
Great people, great leaders often give up their own desires, wishes for the welfare and desires of others. Such was the case with George C. Marshall. One great American.
August 19, 2019