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Liveblogging Postwar: October 20, 1946: George Marhall to Mrs. Joseph W. Stilwell

George Marshall: To Mrs. Joseph W. Stilwell: "October 20, 1946 Nanking, China

Dear Mrs. Stilwell:

I hope my cables reached you, though they are a poor medium for sympathy. Katherine and I both feel deeply for you and the children, especially as the time had just come for Stilwell to settle down with you in the lovely surroundings of Carmel and enjoy the peace and comfort of life that had been denied him for so long a time.

Yesterday we attended a memorial service in his honor in the Hall of the Ministry. About 1500 were present, including a large representation from the troops that he had commanded in Burma, flown in here for the occasion. The ministers of the government and the leading officers of the army were all present. The decorations were rather unique and very elaborate, the altar or dais was set with flowers, ceremonial incense braziers, huge candles, etc. The walls were hung with panels of writing, tributes from the leading governmental figures. (A printed volume of these I believe is being prepared for you). Altogether it was a very impressive setting and ceremony and at least a partial tribute to Stilwell’s services to China.

Our stay here remains indefinite. Katherine longs to get back to her house at Leesburg and the lodge at Pinehurst. However, she is radiant now over the expected arrival of Molly and the two children, en route to India to join her husband at New Delhi. She has been trying to get transportation since mid-September and has finally gotten an air lift this far. From Shanghai she will probably go on by a freighter as no passenger boats seem to be scheduled.

Please give our love to the family and for yourself our affectionate regards and understanding sympathy.

Faithfully yours,

George C. Marshall