The United States of America and France are old friends. France proved itself a friend in deed, aligning itself with American rebels during the Revolutionary War, providing troops, naval power, arms, supplies and even uniforms to a Continental Army outfitted mainly in determination. With France’s support the rebels prevailed and the “colonies” became a United States of America.
In 1876, to mark the centennial of America’s Declaration of Independence, France commissioned Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi to sculpt a magnificent statue to symbolize its friendship with the people of the United States. The gift, Liberty Enlightening the World, was dedicated 10 years later in 1886. The Statue of Liberty is now one of the most famous monuments in the world. It is one of my favorites.
Each July 14, in the spirit of friendship, I join the people of France in celebration. July 14, La Fête Nationale (The National Celebration) or as Americans know it, Bastille Day, is the day the people of France celebrate the beginning of their Revolutionary War which led to France’s First Republic. I salute the friendship between our countries and the love we share for liberty. May our friendship endure and may the light of liberty continue to shine, bringing light to every corner of the world.