|Changing of the American flag over the Marquis de Lafayette's tomb at Picpus Cemetery in Paris on July 4, 2014.|
Even though we're currently on vacation in Annapolis, Stéphane is already planning our next trip. The destination? Rochefort, France to see the tall ship L'Hermione before she sets sail for the East Coast of the United States in 2015. We're also contemplating a quick trip to Easton, Pennsylvania to visit Lafayette College.
The Marquis de Lafayette, the French aristocrat who supported the American colonies during their fight for independence from Great Britain, is the impetus behind these travel plans. It all started when I was finally able to pay my respects to Lafayette during the annual ceremony to replace the American flag flying over his tomb at Picpus Cemetery in Paris on July 4. Extremely moved by the reaffirmation of the historic bonds between the United States and France, I fortuitously stumbled across the "L'Hermione Project" while searching for information about the young Marquis de Lafayette's first voyage to America in 1777.
|The American flag flying over the Marquis de Lafayette's tomb at Picpus Cemetery in Paris.|
"L'Hermione Project" was established more than twenty years ago when a small group of enthusiasts had the idea to recreate the French frigate that carried Lafayette to America in 1780. During the ensuing years, thousands of skilled craftsmen joined the project financed by more than three million people. On April 25, 2015, L'Hermione and her crew will embark on a 42 day trans-Atlantic crossing.
The provisional itinerary will take L'Hermione to Yorktown, Virginia, where she took part in the blockade which led to the surrender of Lord Cornwallis and his army. The frigate will then sail up the East Coast with stopovers in Alexandria, Annapolis, Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York, Greenport, Boston and Halifax, Nova Scotia before she returns to France.
Follow L'Hermione Project on Facebook and Twitter. For additional information about the itinerary and the history of the project, please visit Lafayette's Hermione Voyage 2015.
On October 14, 2014, the Friends of Hermione-Lafayette in America will host an inaugural NYC Gala with Honorary Chairman Dr. Henry Kissinger, former U.S. Secretary of State, Christine Lagarde, Managing Director, International Monetary Fund, and Charlie Rose, American television talk-show host and journalist.
An American couple told me that they were inspired to travel to Paris specifically for the annual 4th of July flag changing ceremony after watching France Revisited's 2009 video.