For those of you who have never visited George Washington’s home, Mount Vernon, there is something special hanging in a place of honor on the first floor: one of the keys to the hated prison in France, la Bastille. It was presented to our first president by the people of France. The Bastille was stormed and captured on this day during France’s own revolution in 1789. This was in the minds of many, the central action in the war. It is a national holiday in France.
Having lived around the corner from the old farmhouse that was the French General Marquis de Lafayette’s headquarters in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, I am mindful of France’s many contributions and sacrifices to our continued welfare and to our friendship.
There have been many other times too numerous to mention when both countries have come to the rescue of the other. But you have only to see the French gift of the statue of Liberty (a small replica of which is in Paris) in New York harbor to remember the ongoing friendship between our two countries – in most ways.
If you are an American tourist – if you are any tourist, really - in France, you MAY run up against it from the locals but do not be deterred. That is the way some people are everywhere. But as in all other things such as fine wine and cheeses, the French have raised it to an art form.
Love you, France
Note: Other posts later today. Please check back.