Op-ed: Marshall Plan brought U.S. to apex of power

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By Jamie Gass

June 5, 2017

“The cost of war in human lives is constantly spread before me, written neatly in many ledgers whose columns are gravestones,” said American five-star General George C. Marshall. “I am deeply moved to find some means or method of avoiding another calamity of war.”

June 5 marks the 70th anniversary of Gen. Marshall’s 1947 Harvard University post-commencement address, where he announced the Marshall Plan’s $13 billion offer ($130 billion in 2016 dollars) to help rebuild World War II-torn Europe.

“(D)eath and atrocity seemed to be everywhere,” said “Savage Continent” author Keith Lowe. Europe witnessed 35-40 million people killed, including six million Jews exterminated in the Holocaust. Forty million people were displaced. Thirteen million children were orphaned. Violence, crime, rape, prostitution, and hunger became “a normal part of everyday life.”

Such unfathomable, historic devastation is far removed from the consciousness of our country and its students. Read more in the Salem Newsthe New Bedford Standard Times, the Gloucester Times, and The Federalist.