Today we celebrated the French Alliance with our new nation. Born of difficult negotiation by Benjamin Franklin with King Louis and his court, the US alliance with France is one of the oldest relationships between our country and another nation. In fact, it is hard to imagine how the underarmed, undermanned, and frequently defeated Continental Army could have prevailed without the support of France and Spain. As Michael Scullin, the Honorary Consul of France in Philadelphia noted in his remarks, this has been a well tended marriage between two republics, sometimes fraught but always loyal. Early in the history of our republic, the French Navy (both during the Revolution and later during the conflicts in Algeria) came to the aid of the United States and, of course, we protected and liberated France during the world wars of the 20th Century.
I presented with the Son’s of the American Revolution’s color guard today. Because of COVID, this was a small gathering but the tradition continues, uninterrupted, in accordance with Washington’s instructions, every year for the last 253 years on the first weekend in May at Washington Memorial Chapel at Valley Forge.
It having pleased the Almighty Ruler of the universe to defend the course of the United States, and finally raise up a powerful friend among the princes of the earth, to establish our Liberty and Independence upon a lasting foundation, it becomes us to set apart a day for gratefully acknowledging the Divine goodness, and celebrating the important event which we owe to His Divine interposition.Per Washington’s executive order, 1793