A CURIOUS VIEW: “GEORGE MARSHALL: DEFENDER OF THE REPUBLIC,” BY DAVID L. ROLL
In President John F. Kennedy’s 1961 inaugural address he famously asks, “And so my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country?”
In the heightened political environment we are currently living in and with a Presidential election a little over a year, I ask the presidential candidates, in a slightly deviated take on President Kennedy’s question, “What have you done for your country that you deserve to be President of the United States?” And after I calculate your contributions to our country, the one who comes close to 10 per cent of what General George Marshall contributed to his country that is the individual I will be rooting for to become President
David L. Roll’s biography on George Marshall is undoubtedly one of the best biographies I have ever read on any individual. It is a detailed, engrossing, unbiased and exceptionally well-written account of his life, from his birth to the time of his death in 1957. With the possible exception of George Washington, George Marshall’s contributions to our country cast a long and inspiring shadow that span more than a half a century and three wars… a 5 star General, chief of staff of the armed forces during World War 2, Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense, the architect behind ‘The Marshall Plan’ and one of the visionaries behind the formation of NATO and that’s just a few of his contributions.
Apolitical, unselfish to a fault, loyal, and generous in his praise and humility toward his country and its citizens… seldom has a better man served his country. “America has a built-in advantage in the quest for peace,” he said. “Immigrants now constitute an organic portion of our population.” As a consequence, he argued, “Americans have acquired a concern for the problems of other people, a deep urge to help the oppressed, a readiness to cooperate with other nations in preserving peace, and our attitude is one of the great and hopeful factors of the world today. (George Marshall on accepting the Nobel Peace Prize in 1953.)”
Sadly, a whole generation of Americans have grown up with no sense of our history, with no appreciation for the sacrifices that have went into building this great country and our role in preserving world peace. In the long and deserving shadows of great men like George Washington, President Lincoln, TR, and FDR, far too many men and women who sacrificed so much have been forgotten, such as President John Adams, Alexander Hamilton (previous to the Broadway play), Nathan Greene, General Theodore Roosevelt JR., Eleanor Roosevelt, and MR. George Marshall.