Marshall Park honors accomplished Army general

 

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Marshall Park now has a more prominent location at the corner of N.C. 2 and Carolina Vista Drive.

Thousands of people have walked past the 10,000 pound granite monument since it was erected in 1959.

Those who have stopped to read the inscription know the stone pays homage to George Catlett Marshall.

The U.S. Army general resided in Pinehurst from 1952 until his death in 1959.

During that time, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his work to restore Europe’s economy following World War II. You may remember learning about the Marshall Plan during history class.

After serving as Chief of Staff, he was tapped for Secretary of State. He went on to become the President of the Red Cross and Secretary of Defense.

Resort officials celebrated Marshall’s role in history by placing the monument on the property in 1959 and naming the area around it Marshall Park.

It was moved in 1972 to make way for the tennis courts. Last year, it was relocated to a more prominent location at the corner of N.C. 2 and Carolina Vista Drive.

Dozens of people gathered Friday morning to re-dedicate the monument and park, paying tribute to Marshall’s leadership.

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Gen. Raymond Odierno, Army Chief of Staff, speaks Friday during the ceremony.

“General Marshall is by far one of the most decorated Americans who has ever lived,” said Gen. Raymond Odierno, Army Chief of Staff.

Marshall said the park’s new location is special because it’s easy to access by foot or car.

“Village officials and residents, the (Pinehurst) Community Trust and Resort worked together to ensure the park’s prominence for decades to come,” he said. “They did this to educate all those who visit Pinehurst and really honor the legacy of service which General Marshall is known.”

“General Marshall is by far one of the most decorated Americans who has ever lived.” – Gen. Raymond Odierno, Army Chief of Staff.

Odierno said Marshall and his wife, Katherine, were active members of the community, attending services at the Village Chapel and taking in movies in Southern Pines. They bought a one-story cottage on Linden Road in 1944 after a stay at the Carolina Hotel.

“They would host guests, both local and famous, at Liscombe Lodge,” he said. “But it was not for the fame that the Marshalls moved to Pinehurst, it was the sense of belonging that (they) felt here from the start. The warmth, the congeniality and the patriotism they felt every single day best defined this wonderful community of Pinehurst.”

Pinehurst native Marty McKenzie, a local history buff, said he hopes the monument’s new home will make it more accessible to both residents and visitors.

“Hopefully, we will see Scouts, schools and civic groups visit the stone and be inspired to learn more about our wonderful American history,” he said.

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Members of the Army Ground Forces Band’s Brass Quintet play before the re-dedication ceremony gets underway.

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