VMI Classmates Contribute to Marshall Center Flagpole

The George C. Marshall International Center will dedicate a flagpole on the grounds of George C. Marshall’s former home at Dodona Manor in Leesburg during a special ceremony Saturday, Sept. 14 at 9:30 a.m.

            “There was no American flag at Dodona Manor,” said Thomas Greenspon, president of George C. Marshall International Center, “and we saw this as a meaningful enhancement to commemorate the significance of this historic site.” 

            Fifty-five of Greenspon’s classmates from the Virginia Military Institute at Lexington contributed money for the project, which included landscaping and tree removal following an ash bore disease outbreak.

            Lighting was installed to allow for the display of the American flag day and night. The flagpole will also fly a five-star flag in recognition of Marshall’s five-star rank at the end of World War II.

            During the ceremony, Navy Vice Admiral Mike McConnell (Ret.) will deliver the dedication address, and Army Chaplain Col. Pete Sniffin will give the invocation.

 This event will be open to the public. 

George Marshall was a 1901 graduate of the Virginia Military Institute and rose to become Army chief of staff during World War II, special envoy to China, Secretary of State, president of the American Red Cross, and Secretary of Defense during the Korean War. His efforts on behalf of the European Recovery Program of 1948, better known as the Marshall Plan, earned him the 1953 Nobel Peace Prize.

George and Katherine Marshall purchased the 4-acre property for $16,000 in 1941, and they lived there until his death in 1959. In 2005, it opened as a house museum of the 1950s, and 90 percent of the items in the house were owned and used by the Marshalls.

Dodona Manor is open for private events in the house and gardens by reservation and open to the public for tours on Saturday and Sunday or by appointment during the week. Details about the house and tours are available at georgecmarshall.org

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