Given the opportunity, I like to apply on-the-ground European-style travel to my touring in the U.S., and so in December I took a week-long road trip from New Jersey to Florida, with stops at Philadelphia, Richmond, Raleigh, Charleston, Savannah, and Orlando before arriving in south Florida. I logged about 1400 miles. In terms of distance that’s like going from Amsterdam to Lisbon, with overnights in Brussels, Paris, Bordeaux, Biarritz, Salamanca, and Porto. Imagine! (In terms of the cost of gas and tolls, you wouldn’t even get through France.)
Walking through the historical city of the Founding Fathers, by Independence Hall and the Liberty Ball, I was shocked to see posters for an exhibition currently at the adjacent National Constitution Center entitled “Diana: A Celebration.”
The Marquis de Lafayette first met George Washington in Philadelphia in the summer of 1777. At 19, the marquis had left his wife and baby in France to pursue his heroic dream of helping to win America’s freedom. His reckless venture had been opposed by his family and by the Court of Louis XVI, but still he came. From almost his first meeting with Washington, Lafayette claimed the general as the father he had never known.
“Humanity has won its battle. Liberty now has a country.” The Marquis de Lafayette wrote those famous lines soon after the French-American victory at Yorktown, Va., in 1781. It was a victory that assured both the defeat of the English in the American colonies and Lafayette’s fame as a hero of the American Revolution.
Republican U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee declared an end to Freedom Fries last week when he converted to Francophilia. On April 25 Senator Alexander gave the Republican Weekly Address in which he explained that Republicans can now applaud “the contrary French” whose president “runs around sounding like a Republican.”