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To General John J. Pershing
July 16, 1937 Vancouver Barracks, Washington
In my letter of last May, I explained that it would be impossible for me to be present at the dedication of the monument on Montfaucon. Since then I have received your very gracious letter of June 22 and your cable of June 29.1
I am at loss for words to express my regrets that I can not be near you on August 1st at Montfaucon. The expressions in your letter carried me back to those terrible days, now so happily of the past; and I feel that I am missing what would be a great moment in my life in not reporting again to you for duty on the Meuse-Argonne field.
Katherine is determined that I should go, but there really are too many complications to be circumvented. My heartfelt thanks for your invitation, and my deep regrets, go with this letter. May you be in the best of health during these ceremonies, so that you can enjoy to the full the immense satisfaction which should come to you on this final step in the completion of one of the greatest tasks ever carried from its first inception to completion by an American.
Document Copy Text Source: George C. Marshall Papers, Vancouver Barracks, George C. Marshall Research Library, Lexington, Virginia.
Document Format: Typed letter.
1. On June 22 General Pershing again invited Marshall to attend the unveiling of the monument on Montfaucon if at all possible." If you could realize the personal satisfaction it would give me to have you present with others who held important positions in the army during those grilling days of the Meuse-Argonne battle, I am sure your wish to be here would be all the greater. But whether you can come or not, you will know how sincerely I desire your presence." (Pershing to Marshall, June 22, 1937, GCMRL/G. C. Marshall Papers [Vancouver Barracks].)
Recommended Citation: The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, ed. Larry I. Bland and Sharon Ritenour Stevens (Lexington, Va.: The George C. Marshall Foundation, 1981- ). Electronic version based on The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, vol. 1, “The Soldierly Spirit,” December 1880-June 1939 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1981), pp. 552-553.