Yes, France is our oldest ally, and we Americans share the Paris tragedy, too.
Back in the days of our Revolution, France came to our aid at a crucial time. Wise old Ben Franklin, the colonies representative in Paris, had worked years trying to get France, Britain’s arch enemy, to enter that war on our side.
The king finally did so, and as British Gen. Cornwallis faced Washington’s troops at Yorktown, up sailed the French fleet, cutting off Cornwallis’ retreat or resupply. He surrendered; the war was effectively over and America was a new nation.
We have repaid that debt during WW I & II, as allies should and over the years France and the US have often stood united..in war but also in times of tragedy and need.
“I am Charlie!” Remember those signs during another Paris terrorism event earlier this year.
France has been attacked more than any other nation because it is free and open. “Liberty, equality, fraternity”—it’s national motto means something, but it has made France an easy target for the disaffected, and the barbaric.
Lexington has a direct connection to France. Our Sister Cities program, 2nd oldest in the US, has been “twinned” to Deauville, for over 50 years. You can’t have travelled there, as I have a half dozen times without going thru Paris. And you discover in Deauville, a part of Normandy, people still remember the Yanks who liberated them. Deauville students place flowers on GI graves every June 6th, D-Day.
France’s culture and love of Liberty speaks to many of us. As one guidebook said, on my first trip there, “France is everyone’s second home.”
Vive La France!