Today, Monday July 14 is Bastille Day in France..their Independence Day when the people rose and stormed the bastille…the Paris jail of that day(really a fort which symbolized the oppression of the government then.)
The Bastille fell and France was free and independent..at least for a while.
We triggered Bastille Day…We being America and our own Revolution of 1776. And we were lucky. The colonies escaped the bloody repressions that followed in so many countries that revolted against royal and dictatorial governments. France was free after the bastille fell..but only for a short time. Dictators followed (Napoleons 1,2,&3 among them..and the guillotine..but in the end France, too, was free..and marks that day of the original revolt each July 14.
I celebrate it too. In many ways France is my second home. I have visited there a half dozen times, thanks to Lexington’s Sister Cities program. (An international citizen to citizen program started by Pres. Eisenhower which works thru “twining” cities..in our case Lexington and Deauville, France.)
America owes much to France..and I mean a lot more than culture, art, wine, fashion, food..we owe our existence. I have heard all the jokes about..”For Sale, One French army rifle, dropped only once.” But the truth is if the French Navy had not prevented the English fleet from reinforcing or relieving Cornwallis at Yorktown a bloody battle would have ensued. As it was, caught between Washington’s army and the French fleet, Gen. Cornwallis did the correct thing, militarily, and surrendered. America won; Vive La France!
And then there’s the Statute of Liberty.”.the greatest gift one nation ever gave another.”
A recent book, “Liberty’s Torch” proves this was more the work of one man, the French sculptor Bartholdi, whose vision, artistry, and determination, kept both nations at it until the deed was done and Miss Liberty stood proudly in New York harbor.
I have teared up coming home from abroad seeing her..and what she represents here—to America.
This day, Bastille Day, she stands as the symbol of France..the symbol of Liberty, proclaimed to the world by our two nations, and our hope for abiding friendship between our two peoples.
I'm just sayin'...